Josh Parker had a cracking pre-season and it’s nice to hear that Neil Warnock and some of the older players are looking after him. Good luck Josh and thanks to Yann Tear for writing the following article which appeared in today’s local Gazette – Steve Russell
Josh Parker thought his chance of making it at QPR was as good as over after a humiliating month on loan with AFC Wimbledon in January. The teenager made just two substitute appearances for Terry Brown’s Blue Square Bet Premier side and had a three month stay cut short after just 28 days. For a 19-year-old who already knew the heartbreak of rejection from his own father – his dad told him to ‘forget about him’ when he was eight – it felt like the end of the world.
“I lost quite a lot of passion for the game,” he told the Gazette. “I thought, if I’m not going to play at Wimbledon, I’ve got no chance of succeeding at QPR. I’m just never going to play here. My confidence was at an all-time low.” Roll forward a few months and Parker, who still lives with his mum, Kim, and his two younger sisters in Slough, is on cloud nine thanks to the faith shown by Neil Warnock. The Rangers boss was impressed enough by the raw pace and energy shown in Reserve team games that he gave the striker a debut at the tail-end of last season – albeit as a defender – and a one-year contract.
Parker started the first two games of the season and was on the bench at Sheffield United. “The boss has been brilliant with me,” Parker said. “He’s always giving me advice and encouraging me to keep listening to him and to keep improving. Maybe because I grew up without a dad, Rangers feel like a family to me. Players like Fitz Hall and Peter Ramage have really looked after me, like mentors. My life would have been different if I’d had a father around, but I have no regrets. It’s made me who I am. Maybe I wouldn’t have been a footballer if things had been different and I honestly haven’t a clue what I’d do if I wasn’t a footballer.”
Parker, whose footballing hero is Thierry Henry, may one day repay the faith shown in him by Rangers. “I would like to become a legend at QPR like Henry is at Arsenal. I didn’t really follow QPR as a kid, but my mum did and I’d like to be the sort of player fans look to for a bit of magic.”
Yann Tear – Hammersmith & Shepherd’s Bush Gazette