WASHINGTON’S READY FOR QPR POST
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.
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.
“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.”
Adfgdfhdhdhdhdhd NUMBER ONE: Conor Washington celebrates scoring for Peterborough