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Saturday, May 22, 2010

QPR Report Saturday...Leon Clarke...28 Years Since Spurs-QPR FA Cup Final Game I

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- Football League Managers Association Reports on Managerial Turnover - QPR Lead in Managaerial Turnover over past five years

- Old Video of Loftus Road

- Queens Park Rangers Football Club is pleased to announce the free transfer signing of former Sheffield Wednesday front-man Leon Clarke.
- The 25 year-old has penned a two-year deal at Loftus Road following his release from the Owls.
- Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, R's boss Neil Warnock expressed his delight at attracting the free agent to West London, commenting: "He's a player that I've been interested in for a very long while.
- "I've always liked the look of him, and I tried to sign him earlier this year when I was at Palace.
- "I think he's got a lot of ability, but I think he's underachieved. I rate him very highly though.
- "Some people will be surprised at this signing, but he's a player I've fancied for a very long while and I'm delighted we've got him on board."
- Clarke - who began his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers - joined Wednesday in January 2007, scoring 18 goals in 83 starts for the Hillsborough outfit.
- He also enjoyed a one game loan spell with the R's earlier in his career, and he's relishing the chance to pull on the famous Blue and White jersey again.
- "I'm really looking forward to next season already," he told www.qpr.co.uk.
- "Neil has outlined his plans for the campaign and it promises to be an exciting chapter in the Club's history.
- "He spoke to me about the type of players he wants to attract here, as well as the quality of the current squad.
- "He's a Manager who demands the very best from his players and I can't wait to play for him."
- *An exclusive interview with our latest signing will be available for QPR Player subscribers on Monday QPR

Neil Warnock believes the signing of Leon Clarke could prove to be a masterstroke for QPR.
Speaking on the day Clarke put pen to paper on a two-year deal in W12, the R's gaffer revealed why he thinks the front-man has the ability to hit the ground running at Loftus Road.
"I think his career is at a crossroads and only time will tell if I'm the Manager who can unleash what I believe is inside him as a player," he told www.qpr.co.uk.
"I tried to sign him earlier this season, but Alan Irvine wouldn't let him go at the time.
"I've always thought he had the talent to push on as a player though.
"He's strong and quick and will upset defences - I genuinely believe he's worth a gamble." QPR

A product of the Wolverhampton Wanderers academy, Leon Clarke made his Wolves debut in a League Cup win over Darlington in September 2003.
A loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers followed, before Clarke made major inroads at Molineux in the 2004/05 campaign, scoring eight goals in 31 appearances.

The following season, Clarke was in and out of the First Team squad, enjoying a one match loan spell at QPR, as well as a five match stint at Plymouth Argyle.

The Wolverhampton-born striker was a regular at the start of the 2006/07 season, but when Manager Mick McCarthy outlined his intentions to freshen up his strike force in January, Clarke was placed on the transfer list.

Hillsborough - the home of Sheffield Wednesday - was his next port of call, with the Owls agreeing a fee in the region of £300,000 for his services.

Another loan move, this time to Oldham Athletic, gave Clarke the opportunity to work on his match fitness and it proved to be a masterstroke for the player, who bagged three goals in five games before being recalled by the Owls.

On his return, he scored against Cardiff City in his first start, only to be sent out on loan again, to Southend United on the final day of the 2007 summer transfer window.

Clarke's undoubted ability once again shone through, scoring one and setting up two on his debut against Gillingham.

Eight goals in 16 appearances for the Shrimpers represented a fine return for the 6ft 2in striker and Clarke went on to feature regularly for Wednesday in the latter stages of the 2007/08 season.

The 2008/09 season proved to be a fruitful one for Clarke, with his eight goals - including the match-winner against the R's in December - firing the Owls to a comfortable top half finish.

Six more goals followed last season, but his efforts weren't quite enough to keep Alan Irvine's side in the second tier, as the Owls were relegated on the final day of the campaign. QPR

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