Wayne Rooney has got his own TV show on Sky One, where he is travelling the length of the country to find Britain’s most talented youth footballers. Rooney is very much involved with the trials on the programme, Coke Zero Street Striker, where the winner gets a trip to Brazil with his family, and the possibility of being spotted by a big club.
However, as much as Rooney enjoys watching the football, he’s having a hard time telling the bad news to the kids that haven’t got through.
“It’s very exciting to be part of something like this — helping find good, young players,” said Rooney. “It’s amazing to see how talented the kids out there actually are. But it’s horrible when I have to tell someone they’ve not made it to the next round. Just seeing the disappointment on their face is awful. They have a good idea themselves if they’ve not done too well. But it’s really difficult to actually tell them. I’ve never done anything like that before. When they’re walking over, I know if I’m going to put them through or not. Then you’re just trying to comfort them, trying to soften the blow a bit — but it’s very hard. You can see the disappointment in their faces when you tell them the bad news. It’s probably one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do. Then of course you get the ones who are really nervous while they wait for your decision — and the joy they get from it is brilliant. It’s a judging thing, with kids leaving the competition throughout. In that way I suppose it is like an X Factor-style show but we’re after footballers here, trying to find the latest young talent.”