WHILE Harry Redknapp’s senior side celebrated promotion to the Premier League at Wembley, QPR’s youngest teams were representing the R’s with equal distinction across Europe.
The Under-9s took bronze in Marseille for the Mini Cup while the Under-10s and Under-11s returned with a runners-up medal from the Imexso Cup in Brussels.
Playing in the prestigious Mini Cup, the Under-9s topped their group with six wins out of seven games including victories over hosts Olympique Marseille and Servette Geneva. Despite succumbing to St. Etienne in the semi finals, Rangers finished third courtesy of a 2-0 play-off win.
Meanwhile, the Under-10s and Under-11s both competed in the Imexso Cup in Brussels, Belgium.
The Under-11s topped their group with three wins out of three, without conceding a single goal, knocking out the highly-fancied RAEC Mons in the process. After victories in the quarter and semi finals, only a narrow 1-0 defeat in the final to Belgian Premier League outfit OUD-Heverlee Leuven prevented the R’s taking the title.
As well as a runners-up medal, Oscar Cole took home the Goalkeeper of the Tournament trophy while Farid Fayez finished as the tournament’s top scorer.
Elsewhere, the Under-10s finished 20th out of 28 teams after coming third in their group. That didn’t prevent the young R’s from recording one of the most notable victories of the day – racking up a 5-1 win in the group stages.
Richard Allen, Head of Academy, praised the players and staff for their overseas achievements, telling www.qpr.co.uk: “The overall experience of travelling to and competing in these international tournaments is invaluable to the players development not only as footballers, but as young people.
“This is the first time any of our Foundation Phase teams (Under-6 to Under-11) have played abroad and we are so proud of all of them – not only the players, but also the staff who performed professionally and coached the boys to play the QPR way.
“We will have left a positive and lasting impression of what the hoops means on everyone we came across in Marseille and Brussels and look forward to returning next season.”