Teesider Loanee, Dave Kitson is the One to Watch for Middlesbrough`s first visit to Loftus Road this decade.
Name:David Barry Kitson
Date of Birth: 21 Jan 1980 (Hitchin, Hertfordshire)
Former Clubs: Cambridge United, Reading, Stoke City.
Appearances (Goals): 305 (110) League: 276 (100)
Dave Kitson started his youth career at with his local team Hitchin Town, where he played for two seasons. Aged 19, the striker switched careers, working for Sainsbury`s while playing for an Arlesey Town side in his free time. Whilst at Arelsey, he impressed in a match against Cambridge United Reserves and was snapped up by the U`s in Jan 2001.
In the 200-01 season, the striker went on to make eight appearances for Cambridge, scoring one goal. In his first full season at the club, Kitson established himself as an integral part of the first team, scoring 9 goals and making 36 appearances for the clubs. The following season saw Kitson score 20 in the league and 1 goal in each cup, taking his tally to 22 goals in 52 games for the 2002-03 season. In late 2003, Kitson went on to make his 100th appearance for the club, scoring 43 goals in the process. His success at Cambridge caught the eye of Reading manager, Steve Coppell.
The striker could not resist the temptation of playing for a Championship club and signed for Readinf for a fee of £150,000 on Boxing Day, 2003. The striker started well for Reading, scoring 5 in 17 appearances. The striker became an instant hit with both, the manager and the fans and quickly became one of the first names on the team sheet for Coppell`s team. The striker scored scored 19 goals in just 37 games in his first full season at the club, helping Reading finish just outside the playoff positions.
The 2005-06 season was one where the striker was tormented by injury, leading to him only making 27 starts for the club. However, he ended the season as Reading`s top scorer with 22 goals (18 in the league and 4 in the League Cup) including the opener in Reading`s home game against the Superhoops. Kitson was part of the Reading side of 2005-06 that ended with a Championship record of 106 points on their way to the Premiership.
Kitson`s career in the Premiership got off to a bad start when he received a serious injury in the first game, leading to him being sidelined for 5 months. The striker went on to make 14 full appearances in the second half of the season, scoring 4 goals for his club earning himself a new 3 year contract. The following season saw the striker score 10 goals to help Reading`s battle against relegation but the season ended in disappointment with Reading getting relegated on the last day of the season.
Following Reading`s relegation, newly promoted, Stoke City made a bid of £5,500,000 which was accepted by a Reading team that needed to balance their finances. The striker started 11 games and came off the bench a further 7 times but failed to hit the back of the net. The striker`s miserable time at Stoke was temporarily ended when he was sent back to Reading for the second half of the season to recapture his goal-scoring form. The striker scored 2 for Reading in 12 appearances. Whilst at Reading, the striker publicly accepted that he regretted moving to Stoke for both footballing and social reasons. When Reading failed to win the playoffs, they could no longer afford to bring the striker back leading to Kitson returning to Stoke-on-Trent.
The striker promised to resurrect his career with Stoke and scored his first 3 goals for the club, earlier this season. However it was not enough to earn him a first team spot allowing Middleborough to loan the striker. The striker made his first appearance for the Teesiders against Nottingham Forrest but was subbed off after 57 minutes but showed good link play for the team. Last week the striker gave his side the lead twice in the 2-2 draw with Peterborough; the second of which was his 100th career league goal.
Kitson is in back into goal scoring form and with his exemplary record in the championship is a player the shaky QPR defense will need to fear this weekend.
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