Nicky Haywood follows Vinnie’s footsteps

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WHAT do Vinnie Jones and young footballer Nicky Haywood have in common?

Not only are they both fond of a tackle, but Haywood, aged 18, is now representing the same Swedish club that Jones did before he joined Wimbledon’s Crazy Gang in the 80s.

Haywood, originally from Woodhouse, Sheffield, is in the university town of Umeå in Sweden representing Fourth Division side IFK Holmslund.

“I’m over here for 11 weeks through the League Football Education,” explained Haywood.

“They arrange for you to come over and play on a trial basis and you can earn yourself a deal or even be scouted by a team higher up.”

The former Wednesday trainee is hoping to carve himself a career as a tough-tackling left-back.

“All players who have left professional clubs have an opportunity to go abroad but not many take it,” said Haywood.

“Sweden is great. I live right on the beach and just 15 minutes from the town centre. It’s a nice place and the people are really friendly.

“I’m playing in Division Four at the minute but I’ve trained with Umeå FC in the second tier.

“Vinnie must have made an impression over here because people still mention him.”