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Thursday, February 17, 2011

QPR Report Thursday Snippets & Flashbacks...Barcelona's Messi at Loftus Road...Gallen Remembers Sterling

Daily Mail...Barcelona Training at Loftus Road

-Throughout the day, updates, comments and perspectives re QPR and football in general are posted and discussed on the QPR Report Messageboard...Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- QPR Report's "Spot The Ball"

- Almost-QPR, Sunnil Chettri Returns (Temporarily) to India

- Lee Camp for Northern Ireland

- Thirty-Eight Years Ago Today: Stan Bowles Scored his first hatrick for QPR

- Warnock to Talk to Harrow Today re Striker, Troy Hewitt

- The "Controversial" Crawley/Manchester United Video


DAILY MAIL - Boy wonder Sterling has cast a spell on Dalglish at Liverpool By Matt Barlow and Dominic King

17th February 2011

Born in the Caribbean and raised in the shadow of Wembley Stadium, prepare to be dazzled by Raheem Sterling.

Kenny Dalglish is already converted, barely able to wipe the grin from his face as he watched the striker score five for Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup on Monday.

'Made of granite': Sterling celebrates on Monday

For added resonance, the schoolboy wore the iconic No 7 shirt as he played the leading role in the 9-0 destruction of Southend at Anfield.

His reward was instant promotion to Dalglish's first-team squad for tonight's Europa League tie against Sparta Prague and, if he appears, Sterling will be the youngest ever player in the history of the club at 16 years and 71 days.

If he doesn't, take time to watch his five-goal exhibition of thrilling pace, close control and clinical finishing (see below). None of which come as a shock to anyone at Queens Park Rangers, where he played his football until last year.

Steve Gallen, QPR's head of youth development, tuned into Liverpool TV on Monday night. It conjured mixed emotions but no surprise. 'We always knew he was good,' said Gallen. 'He had many nicknames when he played for us. One of them was simply "The Magician". Another was "Raheem Park Rangers" because sometimes he would carry the team on his own.

'I moved him up to the Under 16s when he was 14 and he was the best player on the pitch. He came on as a sub against Millwall and there was this long ball from the goalkeeper. He watched it drop over his shoulder and volleyed it straight into the top corner. I was glad no scouts were there that day.

'This became normal. His ability is frightening. Balance, speed, awareness. No-one I've ever seen compares to him. He's a fantastic player and I really hope he does well.'

He was always small for his age but at 14, Sterling was fast-tracked by QPR into the Under 18 squad for a tour of Germany and came on as a substitute in one game, to the general amusement of the home crowd.

'Everyone was saying, "Look at this little boy they're bringing on", but it was comedy,' recalled Gallen. 'He absolutely ran rings round them. A 14-year-old street player from Harlesden.'

Sterling left Jamaica for north-west London at an early age, where his mother Nadine raised her four children in their small flat while working long hours as a nurse.

He went to Copland School in Wembley, with a view of the stadium from the sports fields, but, by the age of 14, QPR were taking him out of school every Tuesday to train with their first team.

'He had a tough upbringing in an area with its distractions and maybe that will help his mentality,' said Gallen. 'Off the pitch, he's a placid, lovely kid but he has desire inside that you only notice on the pitch.

'I've seen England Under 16 kids walking around like they own the country but not this boy. He's too focused on winning. I've seen him get smashed by some giants and he gets up and carries on. No histrionics. He's small but made of granite.'

Gallen speaks with great affection for the youngster, who moved to Liverpool last year for an initial fee of £500,000, with more to follow in add-ons, depending on his success, and a healthy sell-on clause if he leaves Anfield.

Dalglish was working in his academy role when he arrived, able to devote time to develop a player who could prove an important part of his first team if the temporary manager extends his reign beyond the end of the season as expected.

'We did everything we could to keep him,' said Gallen. 'It broke my heart to lose him but I think his advisers realised there was money to be made. I had sleepless nights over it. I'm sure someone at the club was happy with the cheque but not me.

'In the end, the kid came and said he wanted to leave. I realised we'd lost him and had to make sure he went to the best club.'
Al though there were rumours about other clubs, Gallen insists Liverpool and Fulham were the only two that tabled offers. Sterling moved to Merseyside, and joined Rainhill High School, in St Helens.

A fearless appearance in a pre-season friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach convinced Liverpool's firstteam players that academy director Frank McParland had lured a talent to the club. And Monday's display will have only enhanced that feeling. MAIL

Kent on Line - Andy Hessenthaler ends interest in Gillingham trialist Jordan Hibbert
by Luke Cawdell

Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler is not going to be pursuing his interest in QPR midfielder Jordan Hibbert.

The young midfielder played in the Gills’ recently friendly at Deal Town and on Tuesday against Millwall in a practice match.

Hibbert played 90 minutes in the game at Millwall’s training ground.

“He is perhaps no better than what we’ve already got,” said Hessenthaler. “We’ve got the likes of Jack Payne, who is the same age. He needs to go away and play games somewhere, even if it’s non-league for a while.

“The kid has got something but it’s a position where we’ve got quite a lot of cover in that area. At the moment we won’t be doing anything.” Kentonline

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