We’re all aware of the non-league history of Jamie Vardy and his transition from Stocksbridge Park Steels to the England National Team.
Players such as Danny Johnson, Josh MacDonald and Jack Devlin have all turned professional following time in the Northern League and we take a look at current Northern League players who could be a handy addition to Sunderland and Newcastle United.
Julio Arca (South Shields)
A household name for many in the North East, Arca is currently playing his trade at South Shields. Despite being 36-year-old, Arca still possesses the quality which saw him rack up 167 appearances for Sunderland. The Argentine could certainly still play in the professional game.
John Campbell (Newcastle Benfield)
A former Newcastle United and Manchester City youngster, Campbell has been a prolific goal scorer everywhere he has been. After scoring 24 goals in 19 games at Jarrow Roofing in 2014, Campbell signed for Oxford United but wasn’t given a chance at the U’s. Now back in the Northern League, Campbell is still a prolific striker with 28 goals to date this season.
Craig Lynch (Seaham Red Star)
Currently at Seaham Red Star, Craig Lynch came through Sunderland’s academy in the Martin O’Neill era. Lynch played two league games for the Black Cats and impressed while on loan at Hartlepool United but was released in 2014. Now playing regularly and finding the net, Lynch could well be ready to take the step up.
Macaulay Langstaff (Billingham Synthonia)
Twenty-year-old Langstaff currently plays for Billingham Synthonia in the 10th tier of English football. Previously with Middlesbrough, Langstaff oozes talent and is set to join Gateshead in the summer. The lively winger has a bright future in the game and should impress at Gateshead.
Michael Richardson (South Shields)
A former Newcastle United youngster who has Football League experience with Accrington Stanley, Gillingham and Leyton Orient. Richardson works the midfield alongside Julio Arca at South Shields. Still only 24-year-old, Richardson would be quite an asset in the professional game.
Dillon Morse (South Shields)
A solid and commanding centre-back, Morse teams up with Julio Arca and Michael Richardson at South Shields. Starting his career at Carlisle United, Morse went on to play for Gateshead and Blyth Spartans before joining the Mariners. The 22-year-old gives very little room for strikers and is a born leader resulting in fine performances on the pitch.
Lewis Wing (Shildon)
Currently playing for Shildon, Wing is a talented young midfielder who is involved in every move. Wing first played Northern League football for Seaham Red Star before joining Shildon. At the age of 21, Wing recently had a trial at Barnsley and is on the radar of Middlesbrough. A young player with bags of potential, Wing could prove to be a real gem.
Ben Sayer (Morpeth Town)
Twenty-three-year-old Sayer joined Morpeth Town from Spennymoor Town in 2015. The midfielder once scored the winning goal for Newcastle United in the FA Youth Cup fourth round and regularly featured for the Magpies at reserve level. Now more mature and developed, the former England C international could be ready to make the step up to the professional game.