Norwich City left-back Sam McCallum says he's inspired by the journey of Jamie Vardy, with the pair sharing a background in non-league football.
The 19-year-old agreed a deal to join City on Thursday but will spend the rest of the 2019-20 campaign back on loan at Coventry City as they push for promotion from League One.
With a background in non-league, McCallum told canaries.co.uk he hopes Norwich can give him the platform to reach the heights of Leicester City’s centre-forward.
“From a young age, I started at Herne Bay Youth and went through the ranks there,” he said. “I then went to Jamie Vardy’s Academy in the summer of 2018. I got picked up from there in the showcase games. Coventry came to see me there and liked how I played.
“It was a massive step up. Coventry had just been promoted from League Two to League One. Even League Two would have been a big step for me, coming from the eighth tier. That was a massive step for me.
“It’s a bit more common nowadays to see non-league players in the Football League. We saw Jamie Vardy come through and I’d like to aspire to be like him, as well as the others who have come through non-league.”
McCallum is already familiar with the Canaries’ defensive options, having watched the likes of Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis and Sam Byram on TV this season, and he added that Head Coach Daniel Farke sees room for improvement in the new addition.
“I’ve watched Max, Jamal and Sam when they’ve been on TV and in a few other games,” he said. “I feel like I can do the job that they do at the moment.
“The boss has said there are things to work on and I’m still not the finished article. I won’t be for a long time, but I need to keep doing what I’m doing because that’s what he likes and what the club likes.”