THE below Where 'R' They Now? feature appeared first in the Hoops matchday programme against Liverpool (30/12/12).
What are you up to nowadays?
In 2006, I set up the Orlando FC QPR Academy USA. It is a programme for under-13s up to under-20s and is aimed at developing players so that they can play at the highest level in America or Europe. So far, a number of boys have moved on to professional clubs. We wear QPR match kits and training tops. When we take part in the Dallas International Youth Cup, we are cheered on by around 200 R’s supporters as there is a big fan base for the club here in America.
Was it a big change for you to move to the States?
Yes, it was totally different. My children found it hard at first, but we have been here for some years now and it is going well.
You played in a great QPR team. Do you have happy memories?
Every moment of my time at QPR still lingers inside me. We had a special spirit and finished top London club two or three times. I think the supporters and players were all on the same page. Everyone out on the pitch wanted to do well for the fans, the club, the owner and lastly for ourselves. That pride to wear the hooped shirt before anything else was the key to our good times. When full, Loftus Road is just the best and those loyal fans are still there today. I miss Rangers very much and all the great supporters. But that connection still remains for me. I am hopeful one day for an opportunity to possibly work for the club again on the academy or in scouting.
Do you still keep an eye on Rangers?
As our Orlando Academy is all about QPR, me and my players watch many of the R’s games live on television. We are all hoping for improved results, but only hard work and passion at Loftus Road will make things happen. With the great fans and a bit of quality, I hope fortunes will change for the better this season. I wish Harry Redknapp, Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan all the best and am thankful to Mr Fernandes for everything he has done at QPR.
Where 'R' They Now? appears in Hoops matchday programme on sale around Loftus Road for just £3. Saturday’s edition against Tottenham Hotspur carries a Where 'R' They Now? piece with former Rangers winger Wayne Fereday.