If ev­ery­thing goes well, I get a kick out of you

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

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

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