Hot prospect Parker can follow in Vardy’s footsteps

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Dylan Parker slots the ball home during FC Stratford’s 4-0 Coventry Telegraph Cup victory over Chelmsley Town in September. Photo: Stephen Cave

FC STRATFORD boss Dave Poulson feels Dylan Parker is more than capable of following in the footsteps of England international and Premier League winner Jamie Vardy.

Stratford Town Youth’s exciting striker has secured a dream move to Walsall, following a successful trial period with the EFL League One club.

Parker has signed a six-month contract with the Saddlers, after scoring twice in their under-18 side’s 3-1 win over Bury.

Jamie Vardy.

The deal will allow the 17-year-old to complete his current course at Warwickshire College, while also continuing his professional football development at the Bescot Stadium.

This season, the goal-hungry Parker made the step up to regular men’s football, signing for Midland League Division Three side FC Stratford.

Parker scored 12 times in just six outings for the club and manager Poulson feels the young striker has ability and the right attitude to reach the very top.

“It’s absolutely fantastic for him,” said Poulson.

“The move is a testament to what the youth team at Stratford have done for him. He was only with us for a short spell, but the youth team have done so much for him.

“We gave him the opportunity to get into men’s football and even in the few games he played for us, you can see he’s a class player. He’ll now get the right coaching to take him that bit further forward.”

The rags-to-riches success of Vardy is proof that dreams can become reality.

The Leicester City striker started his career at Stocksbridge Park Steels before stints at Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town.

In 2012, he was snapped up Leicester City for £1m and despite a poor first season, Vardy proved a big hit, inspiring his club to the Premier League title in 2016.

Asked if Parker was capable of emulating Vardy, Poulson said: “Who knows? He has so much potential.

“He has the ability to play at a very high level. Whether he can follow Vardy is difficult to know.

“What I do know is Vardy has pace and finishing ability and what Dylan has is pace and finishing ability.”