Balanta's R one for the future
By Ben Kosky QPR midfielder Gavin Mahon is tipping teenage team-mate Angelo Balanta for a bright future in Championship football. Balanta made 13 appearances for Rangers last season and, at the age of 18, is generally regarded as the best prospect to emer
By Ben Kosky
QPR midfielder Gavin Mahon is tipping teenage team-mate Angelo Balanta for a bright future in Championship football.
Balanta made 13 appearances for Rangers last season and, at the age of 18, is generally regarded as the best prospect to emerge from the youth team in several years.
The experienced Mahon, who filled in as Rs captain on several occasions last year, said: "I train day in, day out with these players and if you look at Angelo, he's got everything.
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"He's got two good feet and he's well-balanced for a youngster. If he keeps his feet on the floor, which I'm sure he will - that's the sort of character he is - he can have a good future in the game.
"This isn't an easy league, whether you're an older pro or a youngster coming in, and with youngsters you have to give them encouragement instead of going on at them.
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"They're going to make mistakes, as we all do, but if you can play in this league and handle the physical side and the hustle and bustle, you'll be good enough."
Balanta, who can play as an orthodox striker or in a wide role, also spent a successful two-month loan with Wycombe Wanderers last season on their way to promotion from League Two.
The teenager could be lining up against Wycombe when Rangers travel to Adams Park for a pre-season friendly on Tuesday July 28, kick-off 7.45pm.
The teams last met two years ago to the day, with the Rs winning courtesy of a Martin Rowlands free-kick.