I have always been supportive of a system that can breathe, something
Dan Ashworth – FA Technical Director
where players may come in and out but still end up playing at the top
level, this idea from Jamie and V9 gives some players just that
opportunity. You only have to look at our recent Senior Team squad where
three players, Chris Smalling, Michail Antonio and Jamie himself, have
come through from non-league football. I really hope that it is successful
and that some of the players taking part go onto hit the heights of
professional and International football. I wish everyone involved the best
Having come through non league football myself, I have always championed
Les Ferdinand – Queens Park Rangers Director of Football
Academys such as Jamie Vardy’s V9. Ian Wright, Stuart Pearce and John Barnes
were all my team mates when I was playing at International level for England,
and we all started in non league football. It is important to realise that players
develop at different rates, and the V9 Academy caters for this. I wish Jamie
and everyone involved every success, and I look forward to seeing the
players taking part develop, hopefully to the highest level in football.
Jamie’s journey and his determination to never give up should be an
Mike Rigg – Fulham Director of Football
example to every young aspiring player in the modern game. In an
era where the demands for instant return and results could leave
many people without hope, the V9 Academy is an amazing opportunity
to keep the dream alive.
The V9 academy is giving players a second chance that might have missed
the out the first time round. I support Jamie and his team with this academy
and am looking forward to seeing the players in action in the very near future.
I hope some of the academy hopefuls can follow Jamie’s footsteps and take
his story as a true example of inspiration and commitment that you need to
make it to the top. Good luck and don’t give up.
An environment whereby the best players from non-league are provided
Stuart Webber – Head of Football Operations Huddersfield Town FC
with an opportunity to flourish within a top professional environment can
only be a positive. I really hope Jamie and his team can unearth talent with
the mentality and determination to follow in his footsteps. I wish this
project the very best of luck.
Far too long in this country do we disregard talent at too young an age.
Steve Walsh – Director of Football Everton
The development line that Jamie took going back to the real earthy stuff
off non league proved that it can be a breading ground for those who
still have development in them. The formation of the V9 Academy is a
wonderful initiative that will in time produce players good enough to
play the game at the highest level.
The City Football Academy was designed to provide all of our footballers,
Brian Marwood – Manchester City FC
across all age groups and genders, with training facilities that would
support and inspire them to reach their full potential. We are delighted
that Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy, which is also committed to helping players
achieve their goals on the pitch, will be hosted here and we wish everyone
taking part the best of luck.
As a chairman of a football club we task our recruitment department
David Sharpe – Wigan Athletic Chairman
with discovering hidden talent. It's not always obvious to identify those
players in the non-league system so the concept of The V9 academy is
intriguing and exciting. We look forward to watching the academy unfold
and wish John and Jamie and the rest of the team the very best of luck
The Jamie Vardy story is one of football's great fairytales and should give
Nick Hammond – director of Football, WBA
inspiration to every player still striving to achieve their ambitions. Not just
the youngster with their whole career in front of them but also that slightly
older player who still genuinely believes that they've just not had that
lucky break. The V9 Academy project is an opportunity for these players and
one that I'm sure many will wish to grab. If the lads approach it with the same
tenacity and desire that Jamie did himself then one of these players life could
change forever. I wish everyone the very best of luck.
Giving players a 2nd chance, or opportunity to shine when they aren't in
Michael Edwards – Technical Director Liverpool FC
the spot light of the upper echelons of English Football is something that
I have always thought was a great idea. Many of my friends had early careers
at professional football clubs only to fall short and slip into the non league.
Bouncing back for them was difficult and many of their lives took a different
path, although watching Wade Elliott go from Bashley town in the late 90's to
score the Premier League promotion winning goal for Burnley in 2009 was an
incredible experience for all his friends and family watching him live that day
and shows that anything in Football is possible. Players like Jamie Vardy,
Kevin Phillips and Les Ferdinand show not only that great goal scorers can rise
from non league to the top, but they can also go on to represent their country
at the highest level. I'd like to wish everyone involved the best of luck and really
hope this can provide the platform for more unseen talent to come through
and perform on a bigger if not the biggest stage.
From personal experience I can say that players from the non-league
Des Taylor – Bristol City FC Director of Football
sphere often go undetected at the professional level. A scheme such
as this could prove invaluable in aiding the development of good young
players coming through from the lower echelons of domestic football.
I would cite players such as;
Charlie Austin ( Hungerford Town, Poole Town )
Harry Arter ( personally scouted by Eddie Howe at Woking )
Che Adams ( Alfreton Town )
Duncan Watmore ( Altrincham )
Joe Lolley ( Redditch United, Kidderminster Harriers )
All are relatively recent converts from Conference level and below, to
Championship and Premier League players now. Each one of these players
were scouted by me in one guise or another, at their respective non-league
clubs. Any innovative system that aids and accelerates the process of developing
players through the grades would be a great addition to the professional
structure. I wish Jamie all the best in his efforts to replicate his own rapid rise
to stardom for young individuals that would possibly remain relatively
anonymous in the present system.
It gives me great pleasure to endorse the V9 Academy. Jamie's rise from
Kevin Thelwell - Sporting Director at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
non-league to international football demonstrates what can be achieved
if players are offered the right opportunity. Any non-league club with an
authentic interest in the development of their young players will
hopefully get behind this project