FORMER QPR starlet Shabazz Baidoo admits he is finally feeling the love for football again at Wealdstone.
The 24-year-old summer arrival scored twice in a rare start for Gordon Bartlett’s men in the recent 3-2 Ryman League Cup win over Ramsgate.
It’s a far cry from his heady days in league football at QPR as a teenager.
Baidoo looked set for a promising league career at Loftus Road where he made his debut at 16 and prospered under the reign of Ian Holloway.
However, he admits his passion for all things ‘Super Hoops’ and football generally waned following the arrival of owner Flavio Briatore.
He was released in 2008, but with his appetite for football gone a subsequent spell at Dagenham & Redbridge failed to reignite his scoring touch.
And when further attempts to hit the goal trail at Croydon Athletic also hit the buffers when the club went bankrupt, the Hackney-born striker walked away from the game altogether in 2011.
However, having reinvented himself by establishing his own car showroom in Cuffley and entertaining dance floors throughout the capital as ‘MC Terminator’ he felt the pull to return to football.
He said: “I fell out of love with football at QPR.
“When the owners changed and there seemed to be a new manager every single week it made me think it was all getting a bit stupid.
“There seemed to be so many different people you had to impress and in the end nothing was established so I just concentrated on my life away from the game.
“Now I am comfortable with the rest of my life and don’t need football in that sense I can come back to it for the right reasons and enjoy it.”
Consequently, Baidoo came to The Vale pre-season at the suggestion of midfield stalwart and good friend Alex Dyer and the goals against Gate are the latest glimpse of the talent which first excited Holloway eight years ago.
He has not ruled out a return to big-time football, but sayshis happiness is not dependent on it.
“If league football comes along again we will see, but I just want to enjoy it,” he added.
“Wealdstone is a good place for that, a good environment, a well-run club and it is a chance to find stability somewhere.”
Baidoo’s prospects of first team action have strengthened with news that fellow striker Jacek Magdzinski has been released.
The Pole scored five times in a Capital League fixture last month, but it was felt he had not built on that performance and therefore Baidoo was a stronger option.