Saturday, 29 March 2014 | MYT 9:59 PM
QPR open doors to Malaysian footballers
QPR manager Harry Redknapp is open to Malaysian footballers. - filepix
LONDON: English Championship side Queens Park Rangers (QPR) are willing to open the door to Malaysian footballing talents to come in and make an impression.
“It’s a world game now ... players come from different parts of the world, so it’s good we have a tie-up with Malaysia (through AirAsia). I’m sure there’s talent there,” said manager Harry Redknapp.
Redknapp is well known for developing young talent, having launched the careers of stars like Gareth Bale, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick.
And he believes that Malaysian footballers can make it to the very top if they work hard and receive the right support.
“It’s important to have talent, but getting the best out of that talent is another matter,” said Redknapp.
“It’s like with Ravel Morrison (the troubled young West Ham star currently on loan at QPR). He needs to push himself and have someone believe in him ... then he could be one of the biggest stars in world football.”
Four Malaysian footballers, aged between 14 and 17, are on a 10-day training stint at QPR’s academy here.
The youngsters also had the chance to meet QPR’s first-team players, including stars like Morrison, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Richard Dunne and Bobby Zamora, and watched QPR’s match against Blackpool at Loftus Road yesterday.
The youngsters were selected after a round of coaching clinics around the country organised by AirAsia and the QPR In The Community Trust.
QPR In The Community Trust CEO Andy Evans said: “All the reports from the coaches (on the Malaysian boys) have been fantastic.
“We don’t have enough time to judge if they’ll make it as professionals here, but their attitude has been exemplary.
“What’s important now is to help continue their development back in Malaysia.
“We are very keen to extend this relationship with AirAsia again next year.”
Redknapp said that the club will look into the possibility of sending their first-team coaches to Malaysia in the future.
“I think it’s important we get some coaches there. We have a good relationship with the chairman (AirAsia CEO and QPR chairman Tan Sri Tony Fernandes), so I’m sure we can do that,” he said.