Date:Monday June 22 2009
Reserve team captain Joe Oastler speaks regarding his release from Portsmouth and his ambitions at Queens Park Rangers.
Young defender Joe Oastler has come a long way since his release from Fratton Park last summer, a move which left him crestfallen and left him contemplating his future in the game.
After ten years with his home-town club along with being a season ticket holder, Joe questioned his future before signing for Queens Park Rangers, in the midst of interest from 13 other clubs.
'Being released by Pompey was devastating and afterwards a few times I felt like giving up - but things couldn't have turned out any better. he told the Portsmouth News.
'QPR picked me up at the Exit trials and put me with the youth team.
'Two days later I was told to train with the first team, given a squad number and stayed with them for the rest of the season."
Joe, who Rangers picked up training with non-league Bognor Regis Town, was one of only two players who trained with the first team. He and fellow defender Lee Brown were invited to train by Gareth Ainsworth who also gave Oastler the captain`s armband for the reserve team campaign.
The defender put in some excellent displays in the second string, and the experts say he isn`t far away from a first team appearance as he vies for the attention of new boss Jim Magilton.
'It's all happened so quick. I cannot remember much of the season, it flew by, he said.
'I definitely feel I've improved. I've been on a weight programme which has really built me up and feel much better when playing now.
'The next aim is to start making some first-team appearances. We're back to training on July 1 and I'm really excited with a new manager (Jim Magilton) to impress."
With regards to first team affairs and Oastler is confident that QPR can achieve promotion - if the squad can perform to the best of their ability.
The R`s finished 11th in the Championship under the guidance of caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth. Now former Ipswich boss Jim Magilton and his assistant John Gorman have taken the helm at W12 there is renewed vigour and ambition at Loftus Road.
Oastler continued: 'There are a few big clubs in there now and I think with the squad we have got we are good enough to get promoted,
'If we can get it right we can definitely challenge.'
Oastler was given the number 28 squad number vacated by defender Zesh Rehman after he left for Bradford City on loan towards the latter stages of last season.
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Date:Monday June 22 2009
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