The year is 2010 and an unknown non-league player called Jamie Vardy is turning out for Stocksbridge Park Steels for £30 a week.
Fast forward eight years and Vardy has scored an international goal for England against reigning world champions Germany, played in two international tournaments and won the Premier League.
As it turns out a diet of Red Bull, port and nicotine can make you into an elite striker, who knew?
While we’ve all been feeling oddly sad/completely unmoved by Vardy’s international retirement, one man in Germany has been tracing Vardy’s career path and creating his own fairy tale story.
Hendrik Weydandt’s whirlwind career has seen come close to chucking it in to take over his father’s audit company to scoring two minutes into his Bundesliga debut in just four years.
So let’s start at the beginning.
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Back in 2014 Weydandt was playing for TSV Groß Munzel in the Lower Saxony city’s amateur league earning just €400 per month.
The tall striker must have considered giving it all up when he was due to inherit his father’s auditing firm but instead, just like Vardy, he persevered and it paid off handsomely.
Weydandt got a move up from Germany’s 7th tier to the 4th tier with 1. FC Germania Egestorf/Langreder and things began to click.
he banged in 15 goals for the club last season sparking Hannover to take a chance on him, initially to strengthen their reserve team.
However, Hannover coach Andre Breitenreiter saw something in training that convinced him to fast track him into the first team.
Bearing in mind that Weydandt is 23 and doesn’t even have an agent, the following two weeks are up there with the greatest football stories in the world.
Ever since he was thrown on in the DFB Pokal against Kahlsruher in the 82nd minute his world changed.
After coming on with just eight minutes left the striker scored twice, with his first two shots in professional football.
Truly what dreams are made of.
That double blitz saw Breitenreiter include Weydandt in the matchday squad for this weekend’s Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen.
He entered the fray with 76 minutes on the clock and after just two minutes he had already managed to score again.
Three goals in his first three shots in pro football in a total time of 10 minutes.
Those two performances should be enough to secure Weydandt his first professional contract and his first home game for Hannover is potentially a big one – Borussia Dortmund this Friday.
For a player with no agent, the ins and outs of a football contract might seem daunting.
But fortunately Weydandt is a business administration student and his dad an accountant so they will have that covered.
Most consider a professional debut at 23 to be very late.
But here’s a name the young man will be aiming to replicate, Miroslav Klose.
The record World Cup goalscorer only made his debut for Kaiserslautern aged 21 and went on to become world champion.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
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