Bred A Blue: From Representing Everton In Europe To Trying To Find The Next Jamie Vardy

"I wanted to go and forge a career and make my name. I was never good enough to play for Everton's First Team long-term, I know that, so it was the right decision. 

"Looking back, I wouldn't change it. I'm a big Evertonian. Me and my son, we go the match, and it's everything I grew up with. My dad took me, my brothers took me, I'm a big Evertonian, so for an Evertonian to leave was brave. But it was the right decision in football terms."

In the summer of 2012, midfielder James Wallace - three years on from his sole substitute appearance for Everton in a Europa League qualifier - sat down in David Moyes' office and learned the Club's then manager was keen to extend his contract and keep him at his boyhood club for another year. 

On the other hand, League One Tranmere Rovers, where he had just finished a successful loan spell, were willing to take him permanently and throw the captain's armband in to boot. 

In the latest episode of Bred A Blue, Wallace explains why he knew it was right for his career to make the difficult decision to turn down Moyes' offer, and details a Football League journey that also encompassed spells with Sheffield United, Shrewsbury Town and Fleetwood before being cut short by injury in 2019. 

Wallace also discusses his new role trying to unearth non-league football's next Jamie Vardy as Fleetwood's Head of Recruitment, and how the complete grounding he received at Everton set him up for life after the Blues. 

Listen to Bred A Blue with James Wallace above or by clicking here. To catch up on other episodes of Bred A Blue, featuring names including James Vaughan, Nick Chadwick and Shane Duffy, click here

Wallace (back right) describes sharing the Academy journey with the likes of Jack Rodwell (front left) and the experiences he gained from travelling on pre-season tours and to European games with Everton's First-Team squad.