If everything goes well, I get a kick out of you
THE Socceroos are through to the next stage of World Cup qualifying, the Australian A- League has established itself as the best model in local soccer history, and the game is the fastest growing sport in the country from the under- sixes upwards. So the timing could hardly be better for a show that combines potential soccer stars of the future with Idol - like competition. Football Superstar has a lot going for it, perhaps the most important aspect being that, in its first two episodes particularly, it promotes the game as much as it does itself.
That may change, however, as the 15 young finalists are thrown together in a house and forced to face intense challenges on and off the field’’. We’ll come back to the Big Brother aspect in a minute. First the concept. Trials were held across the country, with thousands of males aged 16- 21 going through a variety of hoops before the best 50 players were selected.
From there a final 15 has emerged and during the coming weeks you fear they will have more than sliding tackles to worry about as the cameras focus not just on their talents but on their personalities. The winner scores a scholarship at Macquarie University and a one- year contract with Sydney FC, whose manager John Kosmina, a man known for his restraint and kind words in moments of pressure, is head of the judging panel.
These lads have got themselves to this point on their skills and commitment. Now they have to cope with each other as well, living together in a mansion where, as we have seen with the Big Brother model, things such as integrity, dignity and discretion get left at the front door.
Some of the bunch are relishing the prospect, however. Being on telly
should help out with the ladies’’, says one. Speaking of ladies’ men, the show is co- presented by Irish pop star and Delta Goodrem’s fiance Brian McFadden, a self- confessed football tragic who didn’t quite have the talent to make it as a professional. I did become a professional musician and sell 40 million albums, though,’’ he says. Thank goodness.
McFadden and his co- host, model and Matildas defender Amy Taylor, appear to be settling into their roles after looking a little stilted in the first episode. The singer’s wit and charm carries him through.
For the 15 young men the next month will probably be the strangest and most emotionally and physically draining of their lives as they train with Sydney FC during the day and argue over the television remote in the evenings.
Unlike singers on Australian Idol, the winner on Football Superstar can’t be manufactured into a football superstar unless he has the talent. Let’s hope the lucky wannabe has the goods to be part of the Socceroos’ next World Cup campaign.
Football tragic: Brian McFadden had more success in music than in soccer