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Cole Kpekawa revels in first R's start

COLE Kpekawa realised a dream of more than ten years in QPR’s Championship draw with Reading at Loftus Road.

Having first joined Rangers as an Under-8, the defender – now 19 – made his first league start for the R’s at left-back, completing his journey to the first team in the process.

Shortly after the full-time whistle in W12, we caught up with an understandably-delighted Kpekawa, who played the full 90 minutes for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men.

“It was a great experience today,” he told www.qpr.co.uk. “I’ve been watching games here since I was in the Under-8s.

“To finally start a league game at Loftus Road is a great feeling.

“Hopefully I can play again this year, heading into next season.”

He added: “I didn’t know I’d be starting until this morning – and obviously I was happy!

“I enjoyed it. I think we should have won the game – it was there for the taking. 

“We had enough chances to win it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take them.”

One of those opportunities fell for Kpekawa in the second half who, in truth – and as he openly admitted – should have done better with a header from an Ale Faurlin corner.

Nevertheless, the academy product was still able to take confidence from his start for the R’s – and hopes it won’t be the last this season, with two Championship fixtures left to play.

“I was close! Ale [Faurlin] put a good ball in. I think I jumped a little too early,” Kpekawa explained.

“Hopefully I can play again before the end of the season. And if I do play, I’ll be more confident because I know I did well today.”