Making the jump from schoolboys football to joining a top English professional team can be daunting for a player. Although Varian did need to adjust, he found that playing for Greenwood and St Finbarr’s helped the Corkman adapt to professional football much quicker.
“When I first came over, the club just let me settle in and try and push my way into the team, and that took a few games.
“I’ve worked with Jim before with the U18s home base team. I got to play under him with that. He’s a great manager and I learned a lot from him and I think that is one of the things that helped me when I joined Stoke because that was a couple of months before I came over to Stoke and I learned a lot playing with the Irish home base team.”