The Official Portsmouth Website made the following announcement today:
Pompey have completed the signing of goalkeeper Liam O’Brien from QPR. The Blues have paid the Championship side an undisclosed fee for the 16 year old. O’Brien, who has signed as a schoolboy, has also agreed a two-year scholarship, which begins next Season. The 6ft 2ins Londoner chose Pompey despite interest from Premier League rivals Aston Villa and Arsenal. Pompey director of youth operations, Paul Hart said: ‚ÄúWe watched him an awful lot for QPR and were impressed. In the present climate, there are few decent young English goalkeepers, but for a young boy, Liam is mature and confident. We’ve beaten off Arsenal and Aston Villa to get him, which shows where we’re aiming to be. He was particularly attracted to the idea of coming to Pompey with Harry Redknapp, David James and goalkeeping coach David Coles. It appealed to him that he would have a great mentor in David James.‚Äù
Signed for QPR in August 2004 after declining an offer from Watford
Made his debut for the U14’s in September 2004, aged 12
In November 2005, at the age of 13, he made his debut for the U16’s
On 21st October 2006 he made his debut for the U18’s at the age of 14
He is also an R’s fan of course and was enrolled into the Supporters Club as an 18 week scan photograph courtesy of Mrs Daphne Biggs
Season Ticket holder at the age of four.
He made his debut for the Reserves on 19th December at the age of 16 when he came on as a sub
Signed for Portsmouth FC in February 2008.
Young players come and young players go but as with Dean Parrett, I was very disappointed when another outstanding Youth Team player left us. I first saw Liam O’Brien play for the R’s as a 14 year old in Germany in the summer of 2006. He made a number of excellent saves that afternoon for the U16’s and have watched him many times since. It became obviously apparent that there was great interest in him by seeing the number of Scouts that began milling around at the Training Ground.
Anyway, good luck and best wishes to Liam and I hope that he comes home one day.