Date:Saturday November 22 2008
Watford youth product John-Joe O`Toole is Vital QPR`s one to watch as Rangers travel to Vicarage Road this afternoon.
The 20 year old Republic of Ireland Under 21 international was born in Harrow and his majestic rise through the ranks at Vicarage Road has propelled him to be one of the hottest prospects in the Championship to date.
Coming up through Watford`s academy, manager Adrian Boothroyd gave John-Joe some valuable first team experience by sending him out on loan to local side Wealdstone in the Southern League Premier Division.
It was a chance that the midfielder took gratefully scoring four goals in nine appearances before returning to his parent club. In the 2007/08 season, Aidy Boothroyd granted John-Joe his chance.
The 6 ft 2 midfielder came on for fellow academy product Jordan Parkes in the 71st minute of a 2-0 victory over Southend United in the Carling Cup. Subsequently he come off the bench for a league victory over Ipswich replacing Tommy Smith.
Following a good performance in a 1-0 home win against Hull City, Aidy Boothroyd laid down a challenge to the young player:
'He was excellent. He looks like he is in an indie band but he is his own man and has no fear whatsoever.
"The more experience he gets the better he will be. He's got his place at the moment and he's got to keep hold of it.'
He started that game and several others as two goals in three days against Bristol City and Colchester United cemented his place in the first team set-up.
However an extremely disappointing display at home to Cardiff saw the youngster hauled off in the 35th minute, with Lee Williamson the benefactor, as John-Joe scored two further goals that season, none of them culminating in wins. He was also given his marching orders against Leicester City - however the card was subsequently rescinded.
John-Joe has got off to a flying start in the current campaign, something that diametrically opposes his club as a whole. He has already scored seven goals in all competitions, but they have come mainly as consolations as Watford`s leaking defence fails to keep the ball out the over end.
The midfielder has been left out in recent fixtures but looks set to come back into the fray this afternoon after five successive league defeats for managerless Watford.
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