JOE Gubbins has committed his future to the club by signing a new three-year deal at QPR.
The 19-year-old defender will now stay with the R’s until 2023, while the club also have an extra year’s option.
Centre-back Gubbins, who came to QPR from Southampton in the summer of 2017 and has progressed with the U18s and U23s during that time, is excited about the future but insists this is where the hard work really starts.
“To get a long-term deal here at QPR means a lot to me,” Gubbins said, “but this is only the beginning.
“My aim right away is to focus on getting the next long-term contract.
“I have been here since I was 16 and I feel I have come a long way in that time, not just as a player but as a person as well.
“The philosophy here is perfect for me.
“Chris Ramsey, Paul Furlong, Paul Hall and Andy Impey have all been brilliant, and I have said to them that they have been the best coaches I have ever had. They have been brilliant for me.
“The manager has put faith in me by promoting me to the first team and that has given me such a lift, and Neil (Banfield) and John Eustace have been fantastic too. I can’t thank them all enough.”
Gubbins believes the personal approach of the coaches at QPR has been a major factor in his progress, explaining: “They have got to know me as a person and encouraged that character to come out.
“Everything we have done as scholars, not just on the training pitch, has helped me develop as a person – the work we do to help the Community Trust, the interviews we do, it has all been part of it.”
Gubbins made his senior debut in Rangers' 5-1 victory over Swansea City in the FA Cup in January 2020, with his Championship debut coming on the final day of the 2019/20 season against West Bromwich Albion.
Charlie Austin played for the Baggies that day, and it was the former R’s favourite who suggested QPR take a look at his old Saints team-mate three years ago.
“That was really special,” Gubbins said. “Charlie has been brilliant to me, he has called me regularly. That was a great moment to make my league debut and hopefully there are many more great moments down the line.”
Gubbins has joined Oxford City on a month’s loan and he is keen to make the most of the experience.
“I want to get as many games in as I can,” he said. “Play men’s football, get beat up physically, all that kind of stuff, and return to QPR as a better player.”