New coaching chief starts work at QPR

Ex-Wales international Glyn Hodges has begun work in a newly created role as QPR’s head of coaching.

West London Sport revealed last month that Hodges was being brought to Loftus Road by Rangers manager Mark Hughes.

He will oversee all aspects of coaching from academy to first-team level, with particular emphasis on a revamped youth and development structure at the club.

Hughes wanted to make changes.

Hodges was a Wales team-mate of Hughes and part of his backroom staff at Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham.

The 49-year-old, whose playing career included spells with Wimbledon and Sheffield United, will work with Steve Gallen and Marc Bircham.

Youth development manager Gallen has played an increasingly pivotal role in recent years and will continue to nurture the club’s youngsters.

The youth system is expected to be given category-two status for the coming season, when all clubs will have academies graded from one to four.

Rangers’ current Centre of Excellence is the equivalent of a category three set-up.

And, in line with a number of other clubs, from this season QPR will have a development squad which will place specific emphasis on bringing through young talent and is likely to be managed by former R’s midfielder Bircham.

Development teams can include a maximum of three players over the age of 21, and are seen as a bridge between youth and senior level and a better alternative to traditional reserve-team football.

It potentially gives talented but slower-developing players a greater chance of eventually making the step up, when they might otherwise fall by the wayside once they are too old for the youth team.

QPR’s west London neighbours Brentford introduced a development squad a year ago in an effort to increase the number of players progressing through the ranks at Griffin Park.

See also:
Hughes adds Hodges to QPR coaching team
Changing the way things are done at Loftus Road
Rigg prepares major overhaul at QPR
Building a bridge

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