Sterling example for club and country
By Ben Kosky TEENAGE sensation Raheem Sterling plans to stay with QPR despite speculation that the Premier League s big boys are keen to sign him. The 14-year-old from Neasden has leapt into the spotlight after making his debut for both the England under-
By Ben Kosky
TEENAGE sensation Raheem Sterling plans to stay with QPR despite speculation that the Premier League's big boys are keen to sign him.
The 14-year-old from Neasden has leapt into the spotlight after making his debut for both the England under-16 side and Rangers' reserve team during the past fortnight.
Sterling cannot sign a professional contract until he turns 16 in December 2010, but he told the Times: "I just want to stay at QPR for the moment and go from there.
"Everyone's been pretty nice - they all just treat me like one of them and want me to do my best. I'd like to play a few more games for the reserves and do well in training and play for the first team eventually.
"Jim Magilton has watched me play and train and he said 'keep doing what you're doing - I'm not afraid to chuck young players in the first team'. If it happened, I'd just have to be a bit smarter than normal."
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Sterling, who is studying for his GCSEs at Copland Community School, Wembley, has progressed rapidly through the QPR ranks under youth development manager Steve Gallen.
And the teenager revealed that veteran Gareth Ainsworth - who played alongside him when he made his debut for the reserves against Crawley Town last week, has also had a significant influence.
"When Gareth Ainsworth was caretaker manager last year, he used to come and watch the under-16s train and since then he's been pushing me on," Sterling added. "He says he wants to see me in the first team before he leaves the club."
The Rangers youngster set up England's second goal in a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland that means the under-16s will retain the Victory Shield as long as they avoid defeat against Scotland next week.
See Thursday's Times for the full interview