Sitting down for a relaxed chat with the local press at Hogwood Park, 19-year-old Lawson D’Ath is briefly interrupted by a shout from his former manager Eamonn Dolan.
“Stop talking about your hat-trick!” cries the Royals Academy boss, much to the amusement of the assembled members of the media.
In truth – there’s more than a hint of pride in Eamonn’s voice, and quite rightly – just two days after one of his many successful graduates bagged three times in the under 21s 3-0 win away to Norwich City.
Lawson’s trio of strikes made it a hat-trick of hat-tricks for the club – following Adam Le Fondre and Jay Tabb’s Irish exploits, a feat all the more satisfying given that D’Ath has only recently returned from injury.
“That was my first 90 minutes back after a few weeks out so it was good to get a run out,” said the amiable midfielder.
“The boys did really well, it was a good team performance. Norwich kept the ball nicely at the back but we had a good shape and we hit them well on the counter attack. The goals stemmed from good team play. I was one of the supporting players behind the strikers, which allowed me to get forward.”
‘Getting forward’ is something that the Oxford born youngster has always done with gusto. He was a prolific scorer at under 18 level, and during the 2011/12 campaign made his Football League debut on loan at Yeovil Town – scoring his first professional goal in a 3-2 win over Colchester.
With rehabilitation on a sprained ankle recently completed another loan switch isn’t out the question – and it’s an opportunity he would welcome.
“Doing it last season at Yeovil, it gives you a bug to play in a competitive league in front of thousands of people. I don’t honestly know where I could end up but if people want to take a risk then I cold play at any level.
“I will just keep working hard in the gym and see what happens – hopefully I can also improve technically on the field.”
You can chat with Lawson on his official Twitter feed - @lawsondath92