WALES boss Ryan Giggs has likened Christian Doidge’s rise to prominence to the Jamie Vardy story after confirming that the red-hot Hibs striker is on his radar.
The 27-year-old, who joined the Hibees from Forest Green Rovers last summer, has notched 17 goals in all competitions this term – with 15 of those coming in his last 20 outings.
Doidge is comfortably to top-scoring Welsh striker in senior football and is understandably firmly in contention for a call-up in the upcoming friendlies against Austria and the U.S. next month., affording him a golden opportunity to earn a place at Euro 2020.
“[Doidge] is someone who I looked at 18 months ago,” said Giggs. “I say at looked at him – but I went to watch him at Bolton and he came on with ten minutes to go, which has been the case a lot of times.
“But he’s someone who, obviously, is scoring goals.
“He was at Forest Green, Bolton and started in the Welsh Leagues and when you have a goalscorer, it doesn’t matter what level, they know where the back of the net is.”
Doidge’s career path has been a remarkable one, recovering from being released by Bristol Rovers by soaring through the ranks of Welsh football with Cwmbran Town, Croesyceiliog, Barry Town United and Carmarthen.
He eventually returned to English football with non-league side Dagenham & Redbridge and has barely stopped scoring since.
And Giggs sees echoes of Leicester title-winner Jamie Vardy, who was a still playing for amateur outfit Stocksbridge Park Steels at the age of 22.
“The message it sends out is that you can go to Welsh League clubs and still get to the top,” Giggs told clwbpeldroed.org. “The development of the league is growing more and more and you need to carry that on.
“Whether it be players who are late developers, who need that physicality and regular football that they’re not getting at bigger clubs, it can happen.
“Jamie Vardy is a prime example of a player who has played in the lower leagues and has then gone on to win the Premier League and win caps for his National Team.