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One Direction star closing in on English soccer debut

Jan 26, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT

source:WireImage

This is undeniably a publicity stunt, but credit Doncaster Rovers for taking their exploit to the next level. Rather than be content with One Direction member Louis Tomlinson signing a non-playing contract on English television this fall, the second-tier English club are ready to give the boy bander a chance on the field, saying the 22-year-old will debut for his hometown club “in the next month.”

That debut will come in what’s essentially a reserve league match, with Tomlinson expected to be named to the Rovers’ squad for an upcoming Final Third Development League game. Understandably, that relatively low-level didn’t prevent the club from touting the singer’s debut, with Doncaster Chief Executive Gavin Baldwin expressing his club’s excitement about the upcoming event.

From the team’s web site:

“We are very much looking forward to Louis making his Rovers debut and I know that he can’t wait either.

“Louis has an incredibly busy schedule and we have been working hard with him to ensure we can get a date in his diary for the game.

“Louis is lifelong Rovers supporter and he comes to watch the team whenever he can, so it will be great for him to put on his Rovers shirt and make his debut for us.”

To a certain extent, Tomlinson has already made his soccer debut, having briefly appeared in a fall charity match for Aston Villa’s Stiliyan Petrov. That day ended badly for Tomlinson, however, with an injury inflicted by Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor delaying the singer’s Doncaster debut.

Baldwin’s hoping the incident hasn’t diminished excitement about Tomlinson’s soccer career.

“I am sure that the Louis’ appearance for Doncaster Rovers will attract lots of attention from One Direction fans and I hope that we will generate lots of new Rovers supporters.”

According to Doncaster’s web site, details about Tomlinson’s upcoming debut will be available next week, conveniently giving the club another chance to get its name out there next to their famous supporters’. That, after all, is the end game here, though Tomlinson and his fans will undoubtedly get a lot of entertainment out of the ordeal.

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