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REVEALED! The three greatest Non League players of all time

We continue our look at three greatest Non League players of all time as suggested by the Non League Paper…

JAMIE VARDY

After being released by Sheffield Wednesday at the age of sixteen, Vardy began his senior career with Stocksbridge Park Steels, breaking into the first team in 2007 and spending three seasons before joining Northern Premier League club F.C. Halifax Town in 2010. Scoring 25 goals in his debut season, he won the club’s “Player’s Player of the Year” award, then moved to Conference Premier club Fleetwood Town in August 2011 for an undisclosed fee. He scored 31 league goals in his first season at his new team, winning the team’s “Player of the Year” award as they won the division.

In May 2012, Vardy signed for Leicester City in the Championship for a non-League record transfer fee of £1million, and helped the team win the Championship in 2014. In the 2015–16 Premier League season, he scored in eleven consecutive Premier League matches, breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record, and was voted the Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year as outsiders Leicester won the title. Vardy made his international debut in June 2015 and was selected for UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On 22 February 2017, Vardy scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in a 2–1 away defeat to Sevilla in the first leg of the round of 16, they ended up getting knocked out by Atletico Madrid in the Quarter Finals.

 

CHARLIE AUSTIN

Released from his contract by Reading as a youth, Austin played non-league football up to May 2009, when he was signed by Swindon Town after a prolific season for Poole Town. Prior to that he also had spells with Kintbury Rangers and Hungerford Town. After scoring 58 goals in 113 matches in the Football League Championship for Burnley and Queens Park Rangers, Austin made his debut in the Premier League during the 2014–15 season, scoring 18 goals for relegated QPR and receiving a call-up for the England national team. He returned to the Premier League in January 2016 when he signed for Southampton, scoring on his debut. After falling out of favour with Ralph Hasenhuttl, he then moved to West Brom and scored one goal in five matches that he’s played in so far.

 

Do you agree with those named? Can you suggest any others that you would say are the greatest non league players of all time?

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