Lee was project leader and head of recruitment at Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy, leading the hunt for the next superstar from the lower leagues.
The Academy was launched by Vardy last year with the express aim of promoting talent from non-league football, where he famously began his own career before being propelled to Premier League title-winning stardom.
Sport and Social Science lecturer, Lee Tucker (third from left in the above picture) said: “I am back at Leeds Beckett full time now having completed my role in the first year of V9.
“It was an amazing experience and something I can reflect on really positively. The unique concept has really brought to light the talent playing in non-league football. Providing the 42 players with a chance to work with top coaches in world class facilities has had a huge impact on the players who were selected.
“I am sure each and every one of them are grateful to V9 for the opportunity presented to them. If the documentary captures the V9 process and all the hard work that goes into non-league football, including its highs and lows, then it will be great viewing.
“The Etihad staff were superb and the week we had there was unforgettable. V9 contributes to a platform that should see other non-league talent find their way into league football. It would be great if V9 was to continue but even if it ends up being a one off I believe it has done a great service for non-league football.”
Lee, who had a professional career of his own and has worked in Middlesbrough’s youth set-up, was asked to get involved by Vardy’s agent John Morris, who he studied with at Leeds Beckett between 1999 and 2002.
‘The Next Jamie Vardy’ is a fly-on-the-wall documentary exploring Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy.
With unprecedented access, the six-part doc-series provides a view into the fortunes of some the most talented non-league players, who have been shortlisted to attend the V9 Academy in front of scouts from around the world in a bid to be ‘The Next Jamie Vardy’.
The series will also follow the stories of hopefuls in the build-up to their time in the V9 Academy and will look at Jamie’s time in non-league football, where he began his career with Stockbridge Park Steels in 2007.
Jamie Vardy, striker for Leicester City and the England national team said: “There’s massive talent out there in non-league football, and I hope this documentary has demonstrated that, by putting the spotlight on players trying to find a way to the top.
“I’m now hopeful that some of the clubs, scouts and players that were sceptical about what John and I set out to do are won over. There are many more hidden gems to be found outside the league, and V9 will do all it can to help players realise their ultimate dream of playing professional football for club and country.”
‘The Next Jamie Vardy’ starts on Sky 1 on Saturday 16 September at 11:30.