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Monday, July 26, 2010

QPR Report Monday: QPR Youth Wins "Player of Tournament" Award...Italy Video...Player Signs...Vine Wants Out?

- Italy Tour Photo
-For QPR and Football Updates throughout the day, also check the QPR Report Messageboard/quasi-blog. Join in or just read the various QPR and football-only discussions!

- An invitation to QPR Supporters across the globe! Whatever country. Whatever continent. Whatever age. Whatever Perspective: Come post on the growing, truly-International, QPR and football-only QPR Report Messageboard

- Video Snippet of QPR in Italy: Ravenna 1 QPR 2

- Ishan Saksena was one of the speakers at the India Business Forum, July 22.

Uxbridge Gazette/Jacob Murtagh - QPR star [Fitz Hall] rejects move
- FITZ Hall insists he will stay at QPR - even though his manager asked him this week if he wanted out of the Championship club.
- In fact, the central defender shunned overtures from two Championship clubs in the same breath by declaring his renewed loyalty, despite spending the second half of last season on loan at promoted Newcastle.
- Neil Warnock revealed he has fielded enquiries for the 29-year-old.
But the man signed from Wigan in January 2008 on a four-and-a-half-year deal is adamant he can help Rangers into the top flight.
Warnock said: "I asked Fitz what he wanted to do - and he reckons he wants to stay with us. He thinks the set-up here now will suit him, and that’s fine by me.
“When he’s on song, Fitz is one of the best readers of the game in our league, and I can see how he might be valuable to us." Uxbridge Gazette

QPR's Conor Pepper Wins Player of the Tournament Award

Belfast Telepgraph Thrilling finale to Foyle Cup tournament
Monday, 26th July 2010
- As the curtain came down on another successful tournament Ballinamallard’s under-10s were the toast of the town after seeing off Derry & District Colts in the final 2-0. The finals day began with Irish representative side NECSL (North East Counties Schools League) also securing their first ever title at under-16 level, claiming a 5-4 penalty shoot-out success over Queens Park Rangers — in front of a large travelling support from County Meath — after a 0-0 draw. QPR starlet Conor Pepper made up for that defeat by winning the coveted player of the tournament award....Belfast Telegraph

- QPR Youth Advance to the Final in Derry and lose

Dave McIntyre/ Kilburn Times - QPR Snap Up Midfielder (Jordan Hibbert)
QPR have signed former Chelsea trainee Jordan Hibbert on a six-month contract.
Midfielder Hibbert, who was released by Barnsley in January, has impressed since being handed a trial at Loftus Road and has now been given the chance to earn a longer-term deal.
Hibbert, 19, said: "It's a great opportunity for me and I'm just really grateful to Neil Warnock. It's up to me now to prove that I'm worth keeping at the club."
After leaving Chelsea in 2008, the south Londoner secured a move to Barnsley but he did not make a first-team appearance before his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
He subsequently had a trial at Leeds before being recommended to QPR boss Warnock's right-hand man Mick Jones. Kilburn Times

Posted on: Mon 26 Jul 2010
I'm writing this final blog entry as we prepare to the board the plane back to London at the end of a successful and at the same time thoroughly enjoyable pre-season tour to Milano Marittima.

Two wins in five days and more importantly, another 180 minutes game time under the belts of the majority of the squad, sets us up nicely for the countdown to the big Championship kick-off, which is remarkably just under two weeks away now.
- There were a variety of highlights on the final full day; none more so than the R's performance in a convincing win against Ravenna Calcio.
- But, as I have done so on this blog throughout the trip, I'm going to focus for one final time on something that happened off the pitch here in Italy.
- Ater one made up story after another in an attempt to get out of his inititation, Leon Clarke finally did his sing-song on Sunday night - and what a show he put on too.
- Despite admittedly being nervous in the hours prior to his rendition of Craig David's 'Seven Days,' Clarkey delivered the goods, just as Messrs Kenny, Hill, Derry and Mackie had done so 24 hours earlier.
A rapturous applause said everything you need to know, and once again served to reiterate the excellent spirit that exists within the R's camp.
That team spirit, for me, will be the abiding memory of the tour.
Well, that and the food, which has seen me and a few other members of the backroom team pile on one or two pounds over the last week.
See you at Crawley on Wednesday night ... I'll be the slightly bulky press officer in the media seats!(Blog entry by Ian Taylor) QPR

- Earlier Tour Blog Entries

Ealing Gazette/Chris Slavin - Rowan Vine seeks move away from QPR
- ROWAN VINE says he is seeking a move elsewhere after being frozen out of manager Neil Warnock's first-team plans.

The 27-year-old was left behind for the club's tour of Italy and the QPR forward believes that shows his opportunities will be limited at Loftus Road next season.

Vine, who still has two years left on his contract and is one of the club's highest earners, admits that he may have to move elsewhere, perhaps on loan, to get first-team football.

“I do not mind as I just want to play football,” he said. “I have not played much during the past two seasons and I would not rule anything out.

“I was available to go to Italy, but they took a selected number and I was not in that so I went down to Cornwall with Ronnie Jepson and the lads and played a couple of games down there instead.

“I am not in the immediate plans because I have not gone on the tour to Italy, which is quite significant.”

But Vine, who played 45 minutes in the 1-1 draw for QPR's second string at Hayes & Yeading on Saturday, says he is focused on putting his injury problems behind him and being fully fit if he is called upon for first-team duty.

“It was really good for me when I first joined QPR, but then I broke my leg and I have had a lot of injury problems since,” he added. “On a personal level, I have to keep myself fit so that I am available and see what happens.

“I have been training since the first day of pre-season and I am getting fitter. I am playing games, albeit with the reserves, and I have played three games in a week with the young lads now.” Ealing Gazette

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QPR Official Site - RAVENNA CALCIO 1, QPR 2
Posted on: Sun 25 Jul 2010

Hogan Ephraim's hot-streak continued, as Rangers rounded off their Italian tour with victory against Ravenna Calcio.

The in-form attacker bagged his seventh goal of a quite remarkable pre-season campaign to cancel out Piovaccari's opener, before Jamie Mackie added a second to seal the win.

Both sides ended the game with ten men when Fitz Hall and Fasano were both withdrawn at the referee's request following their involvement in a minor scuffle, as the Lega Pro Prima Divisione side exerted their physical presence on the tie with a series of x-rated challenges.
Neil Warnock was able to call on the fit-again Paddy Kenny and Hall for the R's final friendly in Italy.

Kenny replaced Radek Cerny, lining up behind back four of Peter Ramage, Hall, Matt Connolly and Clint Hill.

Mikele Leigertwood partnered Ali Faurlin in the middle of the park, with Ephraim buzzing around behind a front-three of Leon Clarke, Heidar Helguson and Mackie.

The R's could have been ahead as early as the second minute.

Clarke delivered an unbelievable cross from the left flank, but Helguson - with the net ready to burst - somehow saw his header blocked from the edge of the six-yard box.

Clarke was enjoying a bright start, and when he created space for himself 25 yards from goal just a couple of minutes later, home custodian Rossi had to be alert to tip his low drive round the right hand post.

R's skipper Leigertwood was next to try his luck from distance, but his attempt - after a driving 50 yard run - flew wide of the left hand upright.

Ravenna grew in stature as the half reached the quarter hour mark and they took a surprise lead with their very first attack of the contest on 17 minutes.

A deep cross from the right saw Piovaccari steal a march on the R's back four, before blasting a volley past Kenny from eight yards.

Rangers were denied what appeared to be the clearest of penalties in the 24th minute.

After the hosts could only half clear their lines, a Ravenna defender clearly handled the ball in the box, only for Mr Coccia to award a free-kick inches outside the area.

The R's players - as well as the seething Warnock in the technical area - were adamant a spot-kick should have been awarded, with Hall in particular voicing his frustrations.

Unfortunately for the Hoops, Ephraim's resultant free-kick curled inches over the bar, to the relief of the flat footed Rossi.

As it had been from the first whistle, it was pretty much all one-way traffic, with Helguson next to test Rossi with a deft downward header from Ephraim's out-swinging corner.

Faurlin's left footed strike from distance had Rossi scrambling across his goal on the half hour, but the ball flashed narrowly wide.

The Ravenna goal was living a charmed life, and when Clarke nodded back across goal for Helguson, the Icelandic front-man was against thwarted by Rossi, who expertly kicked the ball away from danger.

Quite how it remained 1-0 was a mystery to many in the stadium - even the locals who seemed embarrassed by the amount of chances Rangers were creating.

This time it was Hill who brought the best out of Rossi, saving the roaming left backs strike from point-blank range in the 42nd minute.

Undeterred, the R's finally drew level a minute before the break, thanks to that man Ephraim.

Mackie played provider, pulling the ball back from the byline and with time to set himself, Ephraim did the rest, sending the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards.

The small gathering of Rangers fans in attendance - most notably those from the Italian Supporters Club - didn't have to wait too long to see the R's grab a second.

The second period was just three minutes old when Mackie cut in from the right wing and deftly chipped the ball over Rossi from 15 yards.

Clearly frustrated by playing second fiddle for sustained periods, the hosts resorted to attempting to kick the R's quality out of their game.

Clarke and then Helguson were both hacked to ground from behind, sparking a flash-point between players from both sides, as things turned ugly.

As Clarke received treatment, another melee ensued and both Hall and Fasano were both withdrawn from the fray at the referee's request.

Warnock reacted by bringing off the battered and bruised Clarke, with Josh Parker coming on in his place.

And the youngster didn't take long to make an impression, teeing the ball up for Faurlin, whose weak curler was easily gathered by Rossi.

At the other end, Toledo smashed a thunderous effort from 30 yards off the bar, before the hosts made a plethora of substitutions.

Warnock followed suit by making three changes of his own midway through the half, but it did little to disrupt the visitors, who continued to dominate proceedings.

Antonio German's neat turn and strike forced sub keeper Menegatti into his first save since entering the fray five minutes from time, but it mattered little, as the R's coasted to the first whistle.

QPR: Kenny, Ramage, Hill (Gorkss 67), Connolly, Hall, Leigertwood (Borrowdale 67), Ephraim, Mackie, Helguson (German 67), Clake (Parker 58), Faurlin.

Subs: Cerny, Derry. QPR

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