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Five Non-League players that could follow in Dele Alli’s footsteps

WITHIN the ranks of MK Dons, Premier League side Tottenham managed to discover the talents of Dele Alli.

Meanwhile, the likes of Southampton striker Charlie Austin and Leicester City frontman Jamie Vardy have risen to prominence in the English top-flight after Non-League spells. Foxes forward Vardy enjoyed his time at Stocksbridge Park Steels before going on to become a Premier League winner.

It’s England international Alli that has enjoyed the most impressive rise to stardom, though, having broken into his country’s first-team and starred in another Premier League title charge for Spurs.

His capital club are 9/2 with Paddy Power in the latest football odds to win the top-flight crown this season, ahead of rivals and current leaders Chelsea.

With home-grown talent such as Alli often being hugely expensive for the teams at the summit of the Premier League, many therefore opt to go on the lookout for more affordable and promising youngsters further down in the Non-League the divisions.

So, who could be the next Dele Alli in the coming years? Here are five players currently residing in Non-League that could eventually become the next big star in English football.

Sean Raggett

Lincoln City defender Sean Raggett has gained a massive reputation and earned many plaudits already this current campaign. This is mainly thanks to his heroic efforts for his club during their incredible FA Cup run this season.

The towering Lincoln centre-back netted an 89th-minute header past Premier League outfit Burnley back in February to see his side become the first non-league team to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for 103 years.

Raggett has been superb this term and is probably the best defender currently in Non-League. A future move to a bigger club surely beckons and he is in line to carve out an impressive career further up the leagues in England, like Alli.

Ricky Miller

Despite being in his late 20s, Ricky Miller could yet propel himself towards a more lucrative club career.

The clinical striker has been prolific for Dover Athletic and has been linked with a move to League One already.

Miller possesses a prolific eye for goal and would be a good addition to any of the sides further up the leagues. He is a classic poacher that can grab many goals in the 18-yard box, but is also deadly with both feet and strike from long range too.

Alex Woodyard

A midfielder very much in the same mould as Alli, Alex Woodyard could prove to have a massive future further up from Non-League.

The Lincoln City central midfielder is still only 23 years of age and looks destined for the top.

Very adept on the ball in dangerous areas, Woodyard is great at dictating the tempo of a game and can be relied upon to do a solid job each week in the middle of the park.

There have already been many League Two and League One clubs keeping tabs on his progress, so watch this space.

Alex Woodyard, left, in action for Lincoln City

Oliver Hawkins

Dagenham & Redbridge hitman Oliver Hawkins was playing in the eighth tier of English football only a matter of seasons ago.

His gallant rise looks set to continue and he is one to watch out for in the near future.

Hawkins isn’t just about finding the target as a frontman, as he possesses a keen eye for that killer pass through defences. This is proven in a number of assists he provides on top of his impressive goal tallies each passing season.

The striker previously thought about quitting football but stuck with it, and that could see him become the next Vardy or Alli in the coming years.

James Alabi

Another promising striker next, this time Chester FC’s James Alabi.

The 22-year-old has plenty of time to blossom into an all-around clinical frontman. He has already tasted life at the top, having begun life in Stoke City’s youth academy.

With a former spell in Scottish champions Celtic’s youth ranks, he has plenty of experience and is seen to hold a bright future.

Striker James Alabi has enjoyed a fruitful season with Chester

Another impressive campaign in Non-League may yet see him snapped up by a bigger club sooner rather than later.

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