The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

SCOTT HO­GAN spent most of the sum­mer scorn­fully dis­miss­ing re­ported in­ter­est from Le­ices­ter City.

“Stupid,” said the 24year-old Brent­ford striker. “Peo­ple just need to fill pages. There are three things true about those news­pa­pers – the ti­tle, date and price.”

Af­ter 13 goals in 16 games for the Bees and a hat-trick in last week’s 3-0 win over Pre­ston, those ru­mours don’t look so stupid any more.

It’s no se­cret that scouts across the land have been tasked with un­earthing the next Jamie Vardy. Ho­gan will top ev­ery list.

It isn’t just that he played Non-League, as Vardy did be­fore blos­som­ing into a su­per­star. It’s a ground­ing in parks foot­ball, free from the shack­les of pro­fes­sional coach­ing.

Like Vardy, Ho­gan played for fun first and work sec­ond. “I had Scott as an ap­pren­tice at Rochdale and it just didn’t suit him at the time,” said Dale boss Keith Hill.

“He wanted to spend time with his mates, en­joy be­ing a young lad and play foot­ball as a hobby. That’s why he dipped into Non-League. It was only later that he re­alised what an ex­cep­tional tal­ent he had and came back to us.”

But for two se­ri­ous knee in­juries, Ho­gan – who joined Brent­ford from Rochdale for £750,000 in 2014 – would al­ready be in the Pre­mier League. As Hill re­calls, he has an un­coach­able in­stinct for scor­ing.

One thing’s for sure: no­body will get him for £1m, like Vardy.

SCRU­TINY: Scott Ho­gan

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