The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

FOR any young player, the chance to move up a di­vi­sion is hard to re­ject, es­pe­cially when that player has an agent whis­per­ing sweet noth­ings in his ear.

But move too soon and the con­se­quences can be dis­as­trous. Just ask Josh McQuoid, who this week joined Peter­bor­ough on loan from Bournemouth.

In Au­gust 2010, McQuoid was hastily thrust into the Bournemouth first­team, the club’s only op­tion fol­low­ing the sud­den de­par­ture of top scorer Brett Pit­man.

Then just 20, McQuoid re­sponded by scor­ing 12 goals in 18 games, in­clud­ing con­sec­u­tive hat-tricks. And that was all it took to per­suade Cham­pi­onship side Mill­wall to shell out £550,000 for his ser­vices.

Since then, McQuoid has scored just six times, mainly due to be­ing loaned out or stuck on the subs bench. But that’s what hap­pens when you don’t take the time to learn your trade.

Char­lie Austin spent 18 months hon­ing his skills against League One de­fences be­fore step­ping up to Burn­ley. Jordan Rhodes gave Hud­der­s­field three years be­fore he joined Black­burn.

McQuoid, bar a hand­ful of sub ap­pear­ances, spent just 18 games as a League One reg­u­lar.

Like Rhodes and Austin, he is 24. Like Rhodes and Austin, he broke through in 2010. But whilst they are now widely re­garded as the finest strik­ers in the Cham­pi­onship and en­vi­ously cov­eted by Pre­mier League clubs, McQuoid is back at square one, re­quired to prove him­self all over again.

Maybe he didn’t want to move. Maybe Bournemouth needed the cash.

But what­ever the case, his tale should be told to any young buck pre­ma­turely chas­ing the big time.

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