WASH­ING­TON’S READY FOR QPR POST

The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By Stu­art Ham­monds

CONOR Wash­ing­ton has been backed to de­liver the goods as Char­lie Austin’s re­place­ment at QPR – by the man who gave him the op­por­tu­nity to quit his post round.

Justin Ed­in­burgh paid £5,000 to St Ives Town for the then 20-year-old when he was man­ager of New­port County in Oc­to­ber 2012.

Banked

It was a price that has been worth 100 times more to the Ex­iles, with the £500,000 they are re­ported to have banked from his £3m switch from Peter­bor­ough to Lof­tus Road this week top­ping up the £150,000 ini­tial trans­fer fee and £10,000 in­stal­ments for ev­ery ten ap­pear­ances they have re­ceived since he left for Posh two years ago.

Ed­in­burgh (pic­tured below), now boss of League One high-fly­ers Gilling­ham, told The FLP: “I’m so pleased for Conor be­cause he’s a great lad.

“We signed him in the Con­fer­ence pro­mo­tion sea­son and had to be care­ful, blood­ing him for a few min­utes here and there to get him ac­cli­ma­tised to full-time foot­ball.

“He’d not been any­where near pro foot­ball. He was play­ing in the ninth tier, pay­ing subs to play af­ter rush­ing to fin­ish his post round.

“He came back for pre-sea­son and you could see he was ready. He took to League Two like a duck to wa­ter and the rest is his­tory.” Ed­in­burgh says he “can’t stop smil­ing” when he sees his for­mer play­ers progress, like Lee Tom­lin did when he joined Bournemouth from Mid­dles­brough.

“I’m not say­ing he’s go­ing to do what Jamie Vardy’s done, but there aren’t many strik­ers around now who run with­out the ball,” adds the for­mer Spurs de­fender.“Vardy is one and Conor is an­other. They stretch teams with their pace and run in be­hind.

“He’s a dif­fer­ent player to Char­lie Austin, but QPR have got an­other proper ex-Non-League player on their hands who knows what it’s like to fight his way up the sys­tem.

Prime

“He’s only just com­ing up to 24, so he’s three years off his prime and he’ll do well, I’m sure. There is a long list of strik­ers who have made the grade from the part-time game and I love it when th­ese boys come through, be­cause I know how hard they’ve had to work.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

Ad­fgdfhd­hd­hd­hdhd NUM­BER ONE: Conor Wash­ing­ton cel­e­brates scor­ing for Peter­bor­ough

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