IN a new series, we get to know the journeys our under-23 players have taken to get to this stage of their careers with QPR.
This article was first written in January 2020.
Midfielder Faysal Bettache arrived at QPR in March 2014 from local side Watford.
This means the now 19-year-old has been part of the R’s set-up since the tender age of 13. After rising through Rangers' youth ranks, Bettache went on to sign his first professional contract in May 2019.
Bettache made his debut for QPR’s first team in a 3-1 Carabao Cup win over Bristol Rovers in W12 in August 2018. That was a moment that the midfielder didn’t expect but one that he describes as "monumental".
Now regularly training with the first team, Bettache impressed for the under-23s last season and made a big impact in Paul Hall’s young squad.
Favourite position: Central midfield
Foot: Left foot
Best quality: Passing
Sum yourself up in 5 words: Funny, Confident, Funny, Funny, Funny
Favourite type of music: I like a bit of everything from afro beats to UK rap and hip hop.
Role Model: Father
At the tender age of 13, Faysal Bettache was given the news any young aspiring footballer fears. He was about to be released by his club.
At the time, that club was Watford and the setback proved to be a major one for him, both on and off the field.
But since joining QPR, Bettache - who is a shy character - has come out of his shell off the pitch and flourished on it.
“When I got released by Watford, I thought there was no point in football," he revealed. "I wanted to stay at home and be with my friends but once I got the chance to trial and come and sign it was the best moment for me.
"Since arriving at QPR, it has been so good for me. The club have taught me a lot of things, on the pitch and off the pitch. I now understand the importance of being disciplined, as well as the basic stuff you need to make it as a top professional.
"When I first arrived at the club, I was quite shy. I almost didn't like getting on the ball and I think that came from my early rejection but since being here the coaches have helped me and now I always want to get the ball and control games. I want to show people what I can do.”
After featuring heavily for the under-23s, Bettache was noticed by former manager Steve McClaren as pre-season for the 2018/19 campaign got underway. The ex-R’s boss didn’t hesitate in getting the midfielder involved with first-team affairs.
Within a couple of month, he had been handed his first-team bow.
“Making my debut in W12 was a huge moment for me - I didn’t really expect it. I came in for pre-season and thought 'I will try my best and see what happens'. To my amazement, I got a call to be on the bench for the Bristol Rovers game and with ten minutes left I got told to go and warm-up and I was like 'alright, this is my time to go and make an impression'. It was huge.
“This was a build-up of everything I had worked hard for. When I was young, my dad would take me to the park and train me, so making my debut was a special moment.”
After making his debut, Bettache has become a novice of the game and now hopes to gain as much experience as possible.
“I am still an apprentice of the game and facing learning curves. I am still trying to show people what I can do, so I want to have a good run of games to help my development.”