A Giant Step Or Just A Nudge Towards Academy Status ?

Well, only time will tell, but let’s hope that our recent Cup victory will help the Board sit up and take notice. Ben Kosky’s article in ‘The Kilburn Times’ follows on – Steve Russell

Elated Steve Gallen is confident that his team’s stirring victory in the Youth Alliance League Cup Final can be the launch pad to regaining Academy status. Gallen’s under-18’s side, who finished runners-up in the league, fought back from 3-1 down to beat Stockport County 4-3 at Loftus Road and clinch the Cup for the first time.

QPR Chairman Ishan Saksena and first team boss Neil Warnock both witnessed the youngsters’ victory – and have indicated they would back moves to restore Rangers to youth football’s top table. The club brought through a stream of talent between 1979 and 1994, including Clive Allen, Paul Goddard, Gary Waddock, Alan McDonald, Peter Hucker, Warren Neill, Danny Dichio and Gallen’s brother Kevin. But Rangers gave up their Academy status for financial reasons almost a decade ago, switching to the lower-grade Centre of Excellence and, until recently, when Antonio German and Josh Parker emerged into the first team, the well has run dry.

Gallen, who was appointed Centre of Excellence Manager a year ago, told the Times: “Winning the Cup doesn’t mean we’ve made it – but it says we’re almost the best Centre of Excellence in the country. We’ve got two players in the first team and we’ve sold a 15-year-old, Raheem Sterling, for ¬£500,000, which could go up to more. That suggests we’re doing something right – but I hope we don’t have to sell anyone again. Neil Warnock came down to the dressing room to congratulate the boys on their comeback, he’s talking about us being an Academy and the Chairman talked about it too. I really hope and believe we will go back to being an Academy and we can try and challenge the big clubs.”

Ben Kosky – The Kilburn Times