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Rangers' scouting net is full of holes

PUBLISHED: 13:28 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:35 24 August 2010

Former Mill Hill Rangers youngster Josh Payne, now with West Ham

Former Mill Hill Rangers youngster Josh Payne, now with West Ham

By Ben Kosky QPR are missing out on young talent right under their noses, according to the manager of one of north-west London s most successful boys teams. Vince Purdue, a Rangers fan who manages Mill Hill Rangers in the Harrow Youth League, has helped

By Ben Kosky

QPR are missing out on young talent right under their noses, according to the manager of one of north-west London's most successful boys' teams.

Vince Purdue, a Rangers fan who manages Mill Hill Rangers in the Harrow Youth League, has helped to develop players now making their mark with the likes of Tottenham and West Ham.

Spurs winger John Bostock spent a summer playing for Purdue's team, while midfielder Josh Payne originally joined the club as a nine-year-old and recently made his Premier League debut for the Hammers.

Payne, now 18, spent time on the books at Crystal Palace, Southampton and Portsmouth before West Ham offered him an apprenticeship - but the Rs could have snapped him up first.

"I offered Josh to QPR and had discussions with [sporting director] Gianni Paladini about him, but they only wanted to give him a six-week trial," said Purdue.

"He's a brilliant player and I'm surprised he hasn't been called up yet for an England side. I'm very happy that Mill Hill Rangers are producing good players, but gutted that QPR ignored him.

"I haven't seen one QPR scout at an under-15 game, even though we've won the league for the fourth time in five years, plus the county cup and league cup.

"There are scouts from Luton Town, Millwall, Norwich City - but not QPR, even though we're QPR-mad. Everyone at the club is, that's why we're called Rangers."

Three other graduates of Mill Hill Rangers - Michael Kalou, Loni Manie and Matt Warner - are currently in the youth team at Watford, while a fourth, goalkeeper Joe Day, made his first-team debut for Rushden & Diamonds last season.

But QPR have taken on one of Purdue's players - right-winger Bruno Andre from Colindale, who has been offered a four-year scholarship at Loftus Road.

By contrast, Payne signed a one-year scholarship with West Ham and is now halfway through a two-year pro deal - and Purdue believes the Rs should be offering similar terms to 15-year-old Andre.

"QPR obviously rate him and he loves it down there as well - he gets the train over to Harlington, while the boys at Watford get picked up by cab!" added Purdue.

"But QPR are trying to sort out a deal before agents get involved, which I'm sure they will when Bruno turns 16 in October, and I don't think they want anyone else to see him.

"They're trying to nick the kid for peanuts and I think he's worth more than that. I think QPR need an overhaul of their youth set-up - when I started watching them there were kids coming through all the time, now that just isn't happening.


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