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Thursday, May 04, 2006

QPR Sign Bradford's Jamaican International Defender, Steward


QPR Official Site - Stewart Signs

Jamaican international Damion Stewart has signed a three year contract with QPR - subject to obtaining an extension to his work permit.
The 25 year-old defender, who spent last season on loan at Bradford City from Caribbean Club champions Harbour View, today (Thursday) became Gary Waddock's first signing of the summer transfer window and will officially join on June 1 2006.
Stewart, who has amassed 30-plus appearances for his country and is due to line-up against England in a World Cup warm-up match at Old Trafford on June 3, passed a medical at Loftus Road this morning.
Nicknamed 'Stew Peas' by the Reggae Boyz, Stewart - at 6'2'' - is an athletic and tenacious defender with poise, speed and an effective no-nonsense style of defending.
"I'm delighted to have joined QPR,'' said Stewart.
"I enjoyed my time at Bradford but when the chance came up to play in the Championship for a big club like QPR it was an easy decision to make.
Stewart in action for the Bantams earlier this season
"I grew up watching QPR in the Premiership and hopefully we can return to the top flight in the future.''
Gary Waddock was equally as pleased to have clinched the signature of the established international.
"I'm very excited about him. He's an international footballer. He's big, strong and quick and is exactly what we're looking for.
"We're confident he'll complement the other defenders we've already got in our squad.''
Chairman Gianni Paladini echoed Waddock's words: "We're delighted to sign Damion.
"He's a great prospect and hopefully the first of many new additions this summer.
"We're building a side to take us forward over the next three years and Damion will be an integral part of that.'

From Soccerbase http://www.soccerbase.com/players_details.sd?playerid=35459 (Played 19+3 games for Bradford this season)

Profiled Last Summer

Jamaican international Damion Stewart a permit away from the Valley
by Gary Smith assisted by Andrew Fullerfor Caribbean Net News
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

LONDON, England: Reggae Boy Damion Stewart is set to join English Coca-Cola Football League One team Bradford City, subject to a work permit being issued.
If granted a permit, Stewart will link up with fellow countryman, goal keeper Donovan Ricketts at Valley Parade.
The Jamaica international central defender, currently with Caribbean Club champions Harbour View FC, has agreed to a one-year deal with Bradford. According to a release from the club, the deal had to be kept quiet until the final details were ironed out with his locally-based club.
However, Harbour View's general manager Clyde Jureidini said the deal had not yet been finalised because they still haven’t received the final documents.
Bradford's boss Colin Todd is eager to the sign the 24-year-old in an attempt to help the defender learn more about the game. Todd also took into consideration a two-footed tackle made by Stewart in a friendly international against Honduras, which resulted in the player being sent off.
"He needs to learn the game and is still a bit raw, but he's got good strength and pace and his game will come on from working with other players on the training ground, Todd said.
"It's good to know we've got somebody who can come in, be strong and attack the ball. He's also quite comfortable in possession," the manager added.
Stewart is a stalwart in Jamaica's back line and even though Todd recognised that the Caribbean top-rated team isn't the best in the world, he is confident that Stewart will fit in.
"It might take a little while but I expect him to do very well for us. He is rugged and hungry to do well…the lad has certainly got something.
"I know Jamaica aren't the strongest national side, but it is a test when you are playing the likes of the South American teams.
"He partners Davis for his country and I've been impressed with the way he has played at Preston. Damion is a bit similar in his approach."
Earlier this year the former Harbour View FC captain had a two-week trial with Stoke City and also had a spell at Darlington.

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