Former QPR man makes unexpected comeback with Wealdstone
PUBLISHED: 13:52 20 August 2012
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Former QPR striker Shabazz Baidoo has been told to prove his fitness as he bids to make a comeback in the Ryman League with Wealdstone.
Baidoo burst into the first team at Loftus Road when he was just 16, but has been out of the game in recent years before resurfacing last week as a Stones player.
Now 25, he made his debut as a substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 win against Metropolitan Police, but Stones boss Gordon Bartlett has made it clear that the one-time Rangers starlet is some way off a place in his starting line-up.
“Shabazz gives us another option up front,” Bartlett told the Times. “I actually went after him when he left Queen’s Park Rangers, but he went to Croydon at the time and I was disappointed.
“I lost track of him, but I’ve been on the search for another striker with a bit of experience, gone for a few and couldn’t afford any of them. All of a sudden [midfielder] Alex Dyer mentioned Shabazz.
“He spoke to him and he came down and trained on the Tuesday night and signed two days later. I told him he wasn’t going to be a starter, he needs to work his way into the side.
“I’m not a great one for asking ‘what have you been doing?’ – for me it’s about what you can do now. I know what he’s capable of, now he’s a bit more experienced and he might be a positive addition to the squad.
“But it’s very early days and that’s why he’s sitting on the bench. He’s got to build up [fitness] – he knows that and we’ll try and give him that opportunity.”
Baidoo, who had originally been on the books at Arsenal, made his first-team debut for Rangers under Ian Holloway towards the end of the 2004-05 season.
He went on to score four goals in a total of 33 appearances (the majority as a substitute), but fell from favour after John Gregory took over as Rs boss and was released in 2008.
After a brief spell with Dagenham & Redbridge, Baidoo drifted into non-league football at Croydon and has also featured for Lewes and Bishop’s Stortford.