JAMIE VARDY ON HIS V9 ACADEMY DOCUMENTARY LAUNCH

By in Kits and Reviews, Marketing, People & Places

Friday 15th September

Jamie Vardy reflects on his incredible football journey in an interview held at the London Premiere of the upcoming series ‘The Next Jamie Vardy’ produced in association with Fleet Street Sport and Media Group (owner of Sportsvibe), debuting on Saturday 16th September at 11:30am

On his story, as depicted in ‘The Next Jamie Vardy’, and how it felt to see others taking their journeys through the V9 Academy…

“Let’s be honest, it has happened before me with players coming from non-league and going on to bigger things, so why can’t it keep going on… with a lot more players coming through?”

“It brought back a lot of memories, knowing that I was in exactly that position all those years ago, but knowing that all the hard work did eventually pay off.
They’ve [the 42 Academy players who feature in the documentary] obviously worked their socks off to get into a position where they had the chance [to earn a professional contract].”

“It’s hard, having your input [with regards to turning down players for the Academy], but there are also people around me who know what they’re talking about, a lot better than I do.”

On whether he doubted that he would make it as a professional footballer… 
“I think you’re going to get doubters in anything that you do to be honest with you. When I first moved from Fleetwood [Town] to Leicester [City] I kind of doubted myself a bit in the first year as well, and if it weren’t for a good chat with the manager at the time, Nigel Pearson, and our current manager now, Craig Shakespeare, telling me that I was good enough to be there and that I could be even better, then I might have fallen out of the game as well. With them telling me that, and then knuckling down and concentrating everything on football, it definitely paid off.”

On whether being released by Sheffield Wednesday was the making of him as a footballer…

“I would probably have to say yes. You’ll hear it from anyone that once you get released [from an academy] your bubble just gets completely burst. You’ve already started letting your school grades slip down because you think you’re just going to be a footballer, so you have nothing to fall back on really. So, having to get straight into work to get a bit of money but still playing part time definitely helped me build myself as a player and started me on that new journey.”

On whether playing non-league football makes you tougher compared to players who come through the academy route…
“Everyone’s got their own route into football, but I think that in non-league it definitely toughens you up. When I was at Stocksbridge [Park Steels], if I wasn’t getting kicked around that football field then there something was wrong with the opposition. It was just ‘he’s small, he’s an easy target’, but the main thing for me was making sure that I got back up, put the ball in the back of the net and that will shut them up.”

On what the biggest difference is between him now compared to back when he was playing non-league football…
“I don’t go out! It’s easier just to chill at home.”

On whether playing for his country or winning the Premier League with Leicester is his highest achievement

“Both? Can I answer it like that? No, obviously winning the Premier League with Leicester is a massive thing, but for any footballer, I think, playing for your country and scoring goals for your country is the pinnacle. I don’t think you can get anything better than that.”

On what part of his story he is most proud of and what he would recommend for any young players wanting to fulfil their dreams…
“I’d probably have to say the record [for scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League games]. I probably didn’t understand what an achievement it was at the time until a few days after when it was all sinking in. But that’s all come from hard work, and having a good team around you as well to get you the ball in the positions [to score from].”

On what point in his career he thought that he had finally made it as a professional footballer…
“Probably the second season that I had at Leicester, when I really kicked on, scored loads of goals in the Championship and then when we got promoted. Up until then, I wasn’t thinking about anything like that. I think it was that whole season [rather than a specific moment], and how it went, especially my partnership with David Nugent at the time, how well we hit it off together and the amount of goals we scored.”

On whether he still pinches himself when he remembers his childhood, when he was a fan rather than a player…
“I’m literally pinching myself every day. I don’t think I’ll ever realise the full extent of the journey. Probably until I’m retired, and I’m sat down, able to have a drink in a bar with [wife] Rebekah and John [Morris, his agent], and we start having a look back at the old memories.”

On what quality he possesses that he thinks is the difference between someone that stays in the non-league and someone that rises into the Premier League…
“I don’t think that you could ever put one quality on it. Everyone’s got different qualities and is better at different things. I think that the main thing that you have to realise is that to do it, you have got to work extremely hard. There’s a lot of sacrifices, but, in the end, that sacrifice is well worth it.”

On how much thought he gave to stories linking him with a move to Arsenal following Leicester’s Premier League crowning season…
“I was lucky that I had a lot of time, obviously it was the Euro’s as well, so I was sat in a room in a hotel for eight hours a day, with nothing better to do than sort all the pros and cons out. My mind got made up, I wanted to stay at Leicester, that was the decision I made, I don’t regret it and that’s what happened.”

The first episode of the Sky documentary ‘The Next Jamie Vardy’ produced in association with Fleet Street Sport and Media Group (owner of Sportsvibe),  starts on Sky 1 from Saturday 16th September at 11.30am, and is repeated on Sky Sports Premier League the following day.