Whizkid Skapetis snapped up by Stoke

Stoke bound... Young Socceroo Peter Skapetis has been snapped by Stoke. (Getty)

Young Socceroos striker Peter Skapetis has sealed a move from Queens Park Rangers to Stoke City as he chases the dream of playing in the English Premier League.

Skapetis, 19 – who has bagged 11 goals in eight appearances for Australia’s U20 and U23 sides – first came to the attention of Potters coach Mark Hughes during his time in charge at QPR.

The teenager with the Greek/Australian heritage believes the switch to the Britannia Stadium after two seasons in west London could be the next step in his bid to make it on the big stage.

Skapetis, who will initially play under former QPR junior coach Glyn Hodges with Stoke’s U21 side, said: 'The way he likes to play and his philosophy really suits my style and I am looking forward to linking up with him again.

'This is a big opportunity for me to develop my game at a Premier league club.

"I think playing there can take me to another level hopefully and give me my best chance of success.

'In saying that, I really enjoyed my time at QPR and appreciate the opportunity they gave me in chasing my dream of playing football in the UK and I wish them well in the play-offs (as Harry Redknapp’s side seeks to bounce straight back to the Premier League).

'I feel it’s time to move on. There’s a chance for me and I want to take it. My ultimate goal is to break into the first team and hopefully this move will give me the perfect platform for that."

Skapetis, who was in the Midlands over the weekend ironing out the finer terms of what is expected to be a two-year contract, will play alongside fellow Australian, defender Alex Grant, for the Potters.

After completing his move, he link up with Paul Okon’s Young Socceroos side next week in United Arab Emirates for matches against Oman on 9 and 11 May and the UAE on 4 and 16 May.

The games are part of preparations for October’s AFC U20 Championship in Myanmar where Australia has been drawn in Group B alongside Uzbekistan, UAE and Indonesia.

'So far, I’ve been lucky enough to score a few goals for my country and I want to make sure that continues next month," added the former South Melbourne junior who took out the Golden Boot at last year’s Acudia tournament in Spain.

'Representing Australia is massive for me and having played under both Aurelio Vidmar and Paul Okon I have a lot of respect for the positive way they want their teams to play.

'I want to be apart of the team that qualifies for next year’s U20s World Cup in New Zealand – so there’s a lot to aim for with my club and also my country."

Source: SBS