Stuart Pearce goes back to his electrician roots to find the next generation of footballers

Nottingham Forest legend Stuart Pearce has gone back to his roots as he looks to help unearth the next Jamie Vardy.

Pearce was a part-time electrician for four years in the early 1980s while playing non-league football for Wealdstone.

Stuart Pearce electrician..jpg

He was plucked from obscurity by Coventry City before going on to become one of Forest's – and England's – best ever players.

Now the former Reds manager is looking to give someone in a similar position he once found himself in the chance to live their dream, just as he did.

Pearce has teamed up with Fiat to launch Tradesman Trials, a contest to give a current tradesman the chance to win a one month trial with a Football League club of their choice.

"It's very topical at the moment when you look at Jamie Vardy and how well he's doing for Leicester and England. He's a more modern example than me as someone who can progress from non league," he told the Post. "It's a fantastic opportunity for an individual to test himself and see what happens."

As part of the marketing campaign for the competition, Pearce and ex-tradesmen turned footballers Geoff Horsfield and Dean Windass (pictured) were put to the test to see if they retained their old skills.

Pearce admits former builder and Birmingham striker Horsfield had the edge over him and ex-Hull star and labourer Dean Windass when it came to plastering and decorating, but not wiring.

"I've got to say, the plastering was a total disaster for me," joked Pearce.

"The electrical test went a little better, as you might expect."

The trio are not the only players to make a name for themselves having previously had 'normal' jobs, with Charlie Austin and Rickie Lambert examples of others who made the step up.

Pearce says talented players are out there in the lower leagues, but it is not simply a case of them needing a lucky break.

Stuart Pearce (right) with Geoff Horsfield and Dean Windass.

"I don't think it just comes down to luck. I think it's a multitude of things," he said. "You need a modicum of talent, but I remember that as a non-league player I was very professional.

"When players from non-league and the lower levels do make the step up I think you can see they have that mentality.

"It's not that they try harder, but you can tell just how much it means to them. When you look at the top level these days, I think it's fair to say young players who have come through academies are given too much money too soon in many cases.

"I know that in my career I worked hard and earned every penny.

"If I were speaking to academy players now I would tell them to learn a trade one day a week.

"I enjoyed my time as a tradesman and they are really planning for their futures if they don't make it."

Tradesmen who think they've got what it takes have until June 12 to showcase their skills by submitting videos of their footballing talent to www.tradesmantrials.co.uk.

Stuart Pearce is an ambassador for the 'Fiat Professional Tradesman Trials' – a nationwide search to find a current tradesman who has the talent to play football professionally. The winner will receive a one month pre-season trial at a Football League club.