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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ex-QPR's Liam O'Brien Explains Why He Joined Portsmouth - And How He Became a Goalie

This is Local London/Simon Mail - Teenage star earns move to Premiership

A 16-year-old Ruislip teenager who has landed a dream move to Premiership outfit Portsmouth admitted he only became a goalkeeper by accident.

Liam O'Brien, who went to Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Ruislip, turned down the opportunity of joining Premiership champions Manchester United and Arsenal for a three-year deal on the South Coast.

The goalkeeper has completed a move from QPR to Pompey for an undisclosed fee. But the 6ft 2in shotstopper started life as a striker and only a stroke of luck handed him the chance to shine in goal.

The St Joan of Arc Catholic School pupil said: "I started off as a pretty average striker for Ruislip Rangers and then I wasn't getting into the team. But the goalkeeper moved and the team were playing a tournament and didn't have a goalkeeper so I had a try. I became a goalkeeper by accident but once I went in I liked it and did quite well."

The teenager revealed the friendly atmosphere at Portsmouth encouraged him to choose them over their more illustrious rivals along with the prospect of training with England goalkeeper David James.

"I went to Old Trafford and the Emirates but there was just something not quite right about them," he said.

"When I went to Portsmouth it just felt great and (manager) Harry Redknapp seemed to know who I was. I'm very excited to be going to a great club and I'm looking forward to working with one of the best goalkeepers."

Portsmouth director of youth operations, Paul Hart, said: "We 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." This is Local London

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