It’s no secret that there are bundles of footballing talent situated in the lower tiers of the English game. When these players get spotted by professional clubs it can go one of two ways, the success story of Jamie Vardy’s rise from Stocksbridge Park Steels to Russia 2018. However, most commonly, these players struggle to make it on the full-time stage. So here are 5 footballers that couldn’t handle the step up.
1. Jamie Turley
The Reading-born central defender burst onto the scene with Forest Green Rovers and Eastleigh, playing in the Vanarama National League. His defensive expertise and powerful build made him look like the perfect signing for League 2 Newport in 2016. Despite this, Jamie struggled for form and his lack of pace often limited him in his delve into the English fourth tier. He has since played on loan for Boreham Wood in the 2017/18 season back in the National League, where he helped them to a 4th place finish. Now back at Newport, I hope he is given a chance to prove himself in the Football League.
2. Harry Beautyman
The box-to-box central midfielder was noticed by Peterborough in 2014 after astounding performances for Sutton United and Welling, where he demonstrated a real eye for goal. In his first full season at Peterborough he was in good form and found the back of the net 5 times in 35 appearances for The Posh. Unfortunately, a moves to Northampton in 2016 and then to Stevenage in 2017 Harry was unable to replicate this form and slid back into non-league with Sutton United. However, at 26 he still has plenty of time to re-install himself within the Football League, as he certainly has the potential.
3. Ashley Hemmings
A controversial one for sure, as the pacey winger has definitely showcased his talents successfully in League 2. But Hemmings, who can also play as a striker, seems to have found his feet in the divisions below this as last season he scored 16 goals as well as laying on many assists in his 41 appearances for Boston United in the National League North. He has now moved to Salford in the National League for the 2018/19 season, which is certainly a move back in the right direction for Ashley.
4. Nicky Deverdics
A player in Newcastle United’s academy that always has the potential to be successful. Controversially Nicky was released by his boyhood club in 2006, which resulted in him floating around many semi-professional English clubs as well as short stints in Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Eventually, Nicky found his feet at Dover Athletic where he demonstrated the creative spark he had developed from his time at The Magpies. This earnt him a move to Hartlepool United in 2016, but his inability to adapt to life as a professional was one of many factors that lead to Hartlepool’s relegation. Nicky is now playing for Wrexham where he will be looking to re-discover his flair for the 2018/19 season.
5. Kieran Murtagh
Another central midfielder, Kieran showed tremendous ability for Fisher Athletic in his late teens after being released from Charlton Athletic. This stimulated a move to League one Yeovil Town. He made 53 appearances for The Glovers but was deemed too inconsistent to be a Football League player. Since then, Kieran has installed himself as hot property within the National League, playing for Woking, Cambridge, Macclesfield, Mansfield and Boreham Wood. He is a player I certainly believe has the ability to make the step up. However, at the age of 29, he had better do it soon!