AN IRISH VERSION of the reality television show ‘Football’s Next Star’ is due to hit our screens later this year.
RTE have teamed up with Celtic to offer boys aged 16 & 17 the chance to compete against nine other hopefuls for the final prize – a place in the Hoops youth academy.
First team manager Neil Lennon and a group of coaches will travel to Ireland for two sets of trial weekends in Dublin and Limerick next month and will choose a shortlist of 40 players before whittling that down to a final ten.
The original series was aired on Sky One in 2010 and saw a group of youngsters battle it to earn a contract with Serie A giants Inter Milan, who were then managed by Jose Mourinho. Three Irish players, Craig Walsh, Gavin Colton and Connor Smith, all featured in the finals, which was eventually won by Ben Greenhalgh.
Smith is an Ireland U19 international playing in Watford’s reserves, Colton plies his trade with UCD’s U19 side, while runner-up Walsh was at Longford Town last season.
Sky pundit Jamie Redknapp made a number of appearances on the UK edition (see below) but RTE have yet to announce the presenter and special guest judges for their programme, which will be shown this autumn.
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