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Rangers at home with new League rule

PUBLISHED: 23:13 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:26 24 August 2010

Gareth Ainsworth

Gareth Ainsworth

By Ben Kosky RESERVE team manager Gareth Ainsworth is confident QPR will be able to cope when the Football League s new homegrown players rule comes into force. From the start of next season, League clubs must include at least four players in their matchd

By Ben Kosky

RESERVE team manager Gareth Ainsworth is confident QPR will be able to cope when the Football League's new homegrown players rule comes into force.

From the start of next season, League clubs must include at least four players in their matchday squad who have held domestic registration since the age of 18.

As it stands, almost half of Rangers' current squad would not qualify as 'homegrown', including younger players such as Emmanuel Ledesma and Samuel Di Carmine.

And that will place an added importance on nurturing domestic talent through the Centre of Excellence and the reserves.

"It's difficult to pick out individual names," Ainsworth told the Times. "But I'm certain that when the rule does come in, we'll be well prepared for it.

"At the moment, the reserves are going through an experimental stage - we're trying to mirror what the first team are doing and learn the system, which is common sense really.

"The gaffer's taking a big interest. He's the kind of guy who will come and look at everyone anyway, he watches all the games and he'll already have an idea of who he wants."

The new rule, which was agreed by a majority of clubs after last week's meeting at Pride Park, states that a homegrown player must be registered for at least three seasons prior to his 21st birthday.

But Ainsworth thinks that may create confusion in the case of late arrivals to the professional game, who might not have held registration in England or anywhere else.

"If we find somebody playing park football who isn't registered with anyone - which is exactly what happened with Angelo Balanta - would he count as a homegrown player?" Ainsworth queried.

"Ian Wright didn't start playing professional football until much later than most people and he's as English as they come. Would he not have counted as homegrown?"

Meanwhile, Balanta - who does qualify as homegrown despite being born in Colombia - has extended his loan with League Two leaders Wycombe Wanderers until February 14.

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