Gareth signs for QPR

LISBURN teenager Gareth Deane has recently moved one step closer of fulfilling his footballing ambitions when he signed a two year Scholarship with Championship side QPR.

The 16-year-old goalkeeper is currently with the Under 18 squad on their pre-season tour to Germany, where he helped his new side to a 1-0 victory in their opening match of the tour against Queichhambach, in the heart of the Black Forest.

The delighted local lad, who recently completed his GCSE's at Laurelhill Community College said of the move: "The Club is amazing and the staff and coaches are all fantastic and have made me feel really at home after just three weeks. The opportunity to train with Paddy Kenny and Radek Cerny is unbelievable."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The former Linfield Goalkeeper has been making a name for himself in the footballing world prior to his move to the Loftus Road club, having recently been presented with his Under 16 cap at the NISFA Presentation of Awards Dinner at Tullyglass House Hotel.

Gareth has also played several times for the NI Under 17 team in the UEFA European U17 championship tournament in Andorra, qualifying for the Elite Round tournament which was held in Northern Ireland earlier this year. Gareth said that the highlight of his year was playing against Belgium and Poland at home and winning both games 1-0. The team narrowly missed out on a place in the European Under-17 finals but the local lad said that the experience was something he will definitely never forget.

Gareth has completed three years in the County Antrim Excellence Programme and was named in the County Antrim Milk Cup squad in 2008 and 2009. He has also enjoyed school success as runner up in the NI Primary Schools Cup with Ballymacash Primary School and winning the Northern Ireland Senior Schools' Cup with Laurelhill earlier this year, when he helped the school to win coveted schools' football competition for the first time in their history when he produced some heroic saves in the penalty shoot out to help his side clinch the title.

The Lisburn teen received praise from QPR's Under 18 Coach Steve Gallen following his first pre-season match in Germany. Gallen said, "At the back we were strong and won all our battles, Gareth in goal was brave and took some good crosses when he was under pressure from some big lads."

Gareth is now looking forward to the new season with the London-based club.

Related topics: