A Dundalk FC player, Kevin Loughran made it through to the final 10 on RTE’s popular new show, Football’s Next Star.
Presented by Westlife’s Nicky Byrne, Football’s Next Star features 10 young Irish footballers battling it out for one coveted place at Celtic’s prestigious Youth Academy.
It’s been a bumpy ride for the young soccer star however, who has managed to fracture both his skull and his cheekbone since the the programme was recorded earlier this summer.
Yet it’s been good news of late, with Kevin coming through a full 90 minutes for Dundalk U19 on the weekend.
Coach of Dundalk U19s and head of Youth Development at the club, Martin Connolly, says Celtic’s loss has been Dundalk’s gain.
“He’s clearly a talented footballer and someone we would have high hopes for in the future,” says Martin, who reveals that Kevin would have been known to Celtic before the show.
“Kevin would have represented Celtic are underage level, so he was known to the club.”
Kevin was spotted by Dundalk when he was playing school boy soccer in the Kennedy Cup and the Milk Cup, and was signed by Sean McCaffrey.
“He has gotten a good bit of slagging after being on the show. He has told me that he enjoyed every minute of the experience.
“He been hit with a couple of unfortunate injuries. He fractured his skull outside of soccer and he fractured his cheek born here in Oriel Park. But he’s back playing now.”
Kevin Loughran, from Dunsinaire in Monaghan,and is also an All Ireland Champion in middle distance running, and plays Gaelic Football for both his school (St. Macartan’s College) and Monaghan Harps GAA club.