Not many football fans outside of England will have heard of Christopher Forrester but Irish fans will tell you he is the biggest talent to come out of the Airtricity League. At just nineteen years of age, Forrester has been the target of scouts from Premier League clubs after a series of scintillating performances for St Patrick’s Athletic. His six goals this season, including two against giants Shamrock Rovers had propelled them to third place finish, just six points behind the eventual winners, Sligo Rovers.
The left-footed midfielder first caught the eye at the tender age of seventeen when he was part of a U-17 Belvedere side who won the 2010 FAI Umbro Cup. Moving up to a senior rank, Forrester re-signed for the club he spent his youth with, Bohemians FC. After finding the net on his league debut for the Bohs, he enjoyed a first-team run that lasted throughout the season.
With fifth place secured in the league, the youngster was awarded with the Young Player of the Year award in 2011 and his talent wasn’t going unnoticed. He spent trials with Watford and Wolverhampton Wanderers before deciding to join fellow Irish outfit St Patrick’s Athletic.
It wasn’t until the day St Patrick faced Shamrock Rovers that Forrester made a real name for himself. After opening the scoring and assisting to make it 2-0, his second and St Pats’ third was followed by a standing ovation from the home supporters of the 5,340 capacity stadium.
A long ball was played forward and into the feet of Chris Fagan who expertly back-heeled to Forrester. With just the goalkeeper left to beat, the 19-year-old pulled off the coolest finish possible as he chipped the ‘keeper from the outside of the box. Such was the class and cheek of the goal that a video on YouTube went viral, earning him plaudits from global football fans.
As his name escalated in the back pages, more teams began to stand up and take notice. It was no surprise when further speculation has led him to see out the final year of his contract with the Irish club. “I think there’s a buy-out clause on my contract. I’m not sure what the actual fee is. I tend not to really look at that stuff. I leave that to other people. I just want to play football,” Forrester said in The Sun.
Stoke City, Everton and Sunderland all have shown an interest in Forrester’s signature and it’ll only be a matter of time until the talented young midfielder plays his trade in a major European league. According to The Mirror, earlier this week he stated: “It’s good publicity that people are coming to watch me play and that they enjoy watching me. If people want to talk about it, they can. I’ll just let my football do the talking.”
Although his future remains uncertain at the moment, the following few months will be interesting for Forrester and his admirers. The next stage of his development awaits and now is the biggest moment of his career. Will he make it to the big time?