The news that Leicester City hero Jamie Vardy was setting up a training academy for the next generation of non-league football stars to showcase their talents set a ripple of excitement through the football world. Now, Sky have announced that a six-part fly-on-the-wall documentary will air on Sky 1, following Vardy as he searches for the next big star from the lower leagues.
Starting on the 16th of September, the new series will take a look behind the doors of Vardy’s V9 Academy, and follow Vardy as he seeks to discover new talent from non-league football and help future professionals realise their dreams by providing a unique insight into the top level of the sport.
With unprecedented access to the academy, the series provides a glimpse into the lives of talented amateur players who have been shortlisted to attend the academy, where they will play in front of scouts from around the world in a bid to become “the next Jamie Vardy”. The series will also act as an autobiography, of sorts, reflecting on Vardy’s years playing non-league football at Stockbridge Park Steels in 2007.
The series is produced by Zig Zag productions and will also be broadcast on Sky Sports’ new dedicated Premier League channel in September, which customers can sign up to by using the Sky contact details to upgrade.
Jamie Vardy said: “There’s massive talent out there in non-league football and I hope this documentary has demonstrated that, by putting the spotlight on players trying to find a way to the top. I’m now hopeful that some of the clubs, scouts and players that were sceptical about what John (co-founder of V9) and I set out to do are won over. There are many more hidden gems to be found outside the league and V9 will do all it can to help players realise their ultimate dream of playing professional football for club and country.”
Adam MacDonald, Commissioning Director at Sky 1, commented: “Jamie completed one of the most remarkable stories in the history of English football by winning the Premier League title. Now he wants to offer that fairy tale opportunity to others like him, with the V9 academy. We can’t wait to use this unique access to show Sky customers the real stories behind non-league players hoping to make it to the big time.”
John Morris, co-founder of V9, said: “With the right attitude, V9’s talented players can take the top-level by storm. The remarkable aspect of Jamie’s story is that a player of his quality is proof that hidden talent can lie undiscovered if you look hard enough. The academy has proved that there are league players within the non-leagues, with the documentary showcasing some great examples of why it is never too late to fulfil your dream of being a professional footballer.”
Sky 1 is a free channel for all Sky customers and comes pre-packaged with many other pay-TV suppliers deals.