Blades youngster prepared to put in the Vard’ yards needed

Brodie Litchfield in United colours.  Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Brodie Litchfield in United colours. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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He has become the poster boy for every non-league hopeful dreaming of the career in the professional game, after a fairytale journey from Stocksbridge Park Steels to the summit of the Premier League.

And England star Jamie Vardy’s meteoric rise has certainly inspired Sheffield United youngster Brodie Litchfield, who has pledged to become the next ex-Stocksbridge star to make a name for himself in the professional game.

Allen Bethel, Steels’ chairman - who sold Vardy to FC Halifax Town in 2010 after a goal-laden spell at Stocksbridge - reckons Litchfield can go equally as far.

And the United youngster said: “I’ve got to put in the hard work from here. I think I’m very similar to Jamie in terms of playing style, but I want to be my own man.

“Jamie’s story gives me motivation, but my main aim at the moment is to continue to impress, gain a professional contract at United and develop my game.

“I have a strong management team behind me with Prince Lamona and Andrew Khalil, and it’s good to know that I have two great advisers representing me in the future.”

Khalil added: “It sounds cliché, but the world is Brodie’s oyster. Vardy, Charlie Austin and Chris Smalling have all demonstrated that it is possible to come from non-league football and succeed on the big stage.

“Ultimately the Premier League is the target but we believe he has the quality to play in the top leagues in the world and make a name for himself on the world stage. His attitude and drive is second to none and sometimes the harder you work, the luckier you get.”

Litchfield, who became the first graduate of United’s Futures programme to sign a development contract with the League One club, caught the eye at Steels and returned to Bracken Moor earlier this season for a loan spell.

“Brodie is a very special player that has shown consistency while also giving 100 per cent,” Lamona added.

“He loves playing the game and has so much desire to improve, continuously work hard.

“Since returning from his loan spell in February, he’s shown sparks with goals against the top sides in the division.

“We’re very excited for the future.”