After Premier League glory, Leicester boss turns to Thailand to find new talent

The billionaire owner of unlikely Premier League champions Leicester City has launched a reality TV show in Thailand to find football’s future stars. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s company King Power is behind Goal!, which aims to unearth a future Jamie Vardy from among Thailand’s football-mad youth. Thousands of young players from across the country will compete to win a two-year contract with the Leicester City academy and schooling in the Britain.

We want to give opportunities to children to achieve their dreams

Leicester vice-president Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha

The first trials have already taken place and the show is due to be broadcast in a prime-time slot on Thai television later this year. The young hopefuls spoke of how Leicester’s unlikely rise from relegation-certainties to champions had inspired them to follow their footballing dreams. "Leicester’s victory in the Premier League really encouraged all of us,“ said 15-year-old midfielder Singhara Sopai as he waited to take part in the show.

When I was young, my target was to maybe just play in Thailand, play for (a) national team or a big club in Thailand, but now (for these boys) that’s changed.

Kiatisuk Senamuang, head coach of Thailand’s national team and brand ambassador for the Leicester City Academy