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  • EDS boss happy with Hendon pre-season friendly work-out
  • Hall praises togetherness of R’s coaching staff across all levels of the club
  • Grego-Cox and Comley impress in 4-3 defeat

ELITE Development Squad boss Paul Hall believes his group of players will only benefit from being at a club with the togetherness that exists within the coaching set-up at QPR.

Speaking after Tuesday’s friendly against Hendon in Gary McCann’s testimonial fixture, Hall pinpointed the presence of the entire First Team backroom staff, including Director of Football Les Ferdinand and Head Coach Chris Ramsey, as key to another step up the pre-season ladder for his young charges.

“Listen, we're all together as a staff here, from the First Team down to the youngest age groups in the Academy, and that is of huge benefit to the young players we have here,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.

“You'll see most, if not all, of us at the Under-8's games, the Under-12's, the Under-15's etc – because we're all genuinely interested in the development of every player at every level of this football club.

“The club, as I understand it, hasn't had that for a while.”

He added: “It's important for me that Les, Chris, Steve (Gallen) and Simon (Ireland) come and watch my team, because it gives the players a buzz. It gives them a lift.

“It speaks volumes about all those coaches that they were at the game last night – they could've easily just been sitting at home – but they wanted to be here for a pre-season friendly and watch this age group.

“That’s hugely important for everyone who works at this football club.”

In a keenly-contested clash, the R’s lost by the odd goal in seven, but Hall saw plenty of positives despite the defeat, commenting: “I was pleased with the work-rate and what we got out of the game.

“Our intention for this game was to allow the boys to go one-versus-one a lot of the time, because we want them to develop.

“I thought Niko (Hamalainen) was excellent in that respect, in terms of the way he dealt with that, especially playing out of position at centre-back.

“Ryan Manning filled in at left-back too and did well – and experimenting like this is great for the young players' development.


ON TARGET: Axel Prohouly bagged the R's first goal in the Under-21's 4-3 defeat against Hendon

“We're trying to give them all the skills we can to help push them on to the next level.

“Sometimes they're going to have to encounter struggle throughout their careers, so I'm a great fan of looking at one-versus-one scenarios in game situations in pre-season.

“There were lots of good things that I saw out there.”

Axel Prohouly, Tyler Blackwood and Olamide Shodipo were on target for the R’s and Hall added: “Hendon were an experienced side and that's what I wanted from the fixture.

“Our players are going to be so rich with experience the next time they go up against players of their own age, and we want to fast-track them and give them all the experience they can.

“It was a struggle and a challenge at times, but I learned so much about the players.

“We still tried to pass the ball as quickly and as well as we could and I thought we did that well at times.”

Reece Grego-Cox and Brandon Comley – who have both featured regularly for the First Team in pre-season – both started at the Earlsmead Stadium, and Hall was full of praise for the duo.

He said: “With the structure of the football club as it is now, we don't see it as a step down when the lads come into the EDS squad – we see it as a step across.

“What's important is that they show the right attitude, mentality and quality that's got them into the First Team picture – and Reece and Brandon certainly did that.

“They were both asking me to stay on for longer than they did, but they've got First Team training to think of, so we had to be cautious with them.”

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