TG4 announces the return of the Underdogs series

Kieran Donaghy and Pearse O’Neill among those to have emerged from previous series

Kieran Donaghy in action for Kerry a year after his Underdogs breakthrough. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Kieran Donaghy in action for Kerry a year after his Underdogs breakthrough. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

Ten years after its last series and TG4 has announced that the ‘Underdogs’ is on its way back.

The series which is best known for uncovering Kieran Donaghy - then a lanky basketballer from Tralee - is looking for recruits for a new men’s football squad. In the 14 years since he’s gone on to win four All-Irelands, three All Stars and the Footballer of the Year award - and now TG4 and Adare Productions are hoping to uncover more talent currently being overlooked by their county teams.

Trials will be held throughout the country this month, and the first step is a quite thorough application process which you can access here.

To be eligible players must have never previously played intercounty senior football, and must be over the age of 18.

The Underdogs team who faced Dublin in 2003 contained John Kelly who went on to represent the Dublin hurlers, and current Carlow coach Steven Poacher from Down. A year later Donaghy and Cork’s Pearse O’Neill formed a powerful midfield partnership as the Underdogs got the better of Kerry. Both players went on to win All-Irelands, becoming key players for their respective counties.

Others to emerge from that team were current Offaly football manager and Kerry native Stephen Wallace, Eoghan Bradley went on to play for Tyrone and Tipperary footballer Hugh Coghlan.

While the likes of former Dublin (and Galway) hurler Niall Corcoran made his name in the series’ hurling equivalent which followed.

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