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WARD ON SIGNINGS

31 December 2012

Hitchcock and O'Toole arrive on loan


Rovers will today complete the loan signings of Queens Park Rangers striker Tom Hitchcock and Colchester United midfielder John-Joe O’Toole.

Both players trained with John Ward’s side this morning this and will be included in the squad for tomorrow’s game against Plymouth Argyle at the Memorial Stadium tomorrow (kick off 1.00pm)

As the transfer loan window doesn't open until tomorrow, they can't be registered with us until the morning (10.00am deadline). However the appropriate paperwork has been completed by the respective club secretaries.

Ironically, Plymouth is the club for whom Tom he made his league debut, when on loan with them last season when he appeared in a total of ten games.

Tom graduated through the ranks at Blackburn Rovers, and although a regular in their reserve side he was unable to make the breakthrough to the first team.

He joined Queens Park Rangers in March last year and has scored regularly for their Development  side.

John-Joe began his career at Watford and went on to make 57 league appearances whilst at Vicarage Road.

He enjoyed loan spells at Wealdstone, Sheffield United and Colchester United before signing a permanent deal at Colchester, for whom he has now made 67 league appearances.

Chairman Nick Higgs said of the two new signings; “I would like to welcome Tom and John-Joe to the club and thank their respective clubs for allowing them to join us on loan.

“I hope that both players enjoy a successful time with us and that we may be able to extend their loans for the remainder of the season.”

Manager John Ward spoke about the two new arrivals at his press conference this morning, saying; 

“Tom has scored goals at U-21 level for QPR and that’s no mean feat because it’s a good standard, though it’s not quite the same as coming here and playing in front of 7,000 or 8,000 against Plymouth Argyle.

It’s a big test for him but he’s a hard working young player who has a goal in him and we will have to work hard to play to his strengths.

“I know John-Joe pretty well from my own time at Colchester. He is a really strong midfield player and he has a little bit of experience, having played in the Championship with Watford.

“He picked up an injury last year and didn’t really get going but has got himself fit and back in and around the first team this season but he wants to get his career going again and now has an opportunity to do that here.


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