Alex Pearce wasn't the only one bursting with international pride this week. Royals Academy product Jake Taylor pulled on the captain's armband for the first time, as he led out Wales under 21s for a qualification clash with Czech Republic in Prague. Jake has been speaking about that night, plus his hopes for the future with Reading FC....
Captaining your country at any level is an honour, you must have been delighted?
It was a proud moment for me, I’ve played for them in the 19s and 21s so to get that captaincy was a great moment for me and my family. I was happy to lead the boys out.
It was a tough game, how would you summarise it?
We played against a very good side who are top of the group. We started off well but ran out of legs a bit in the second half and, to be honest, they battered us. It was a good learning experience though, we had a very young team as a few of the boys went up to the seniors, so everyone will learn lessons from the game. Over the last few years you can see the Welsh group is getting strong and more youngsters are coming through.
How’s life for you back at Reading this season?
I missed a bit of pre-season through injury but now I’ve come back and played a couple of games. Obviously I’d love to be involved in the first team, but if not then I’m happy to go out on loan and come back a better player. Whatever the gaffer thinks is best, I’ll do that.
A loan move can do wonders for a player like yourself can’t it?
Of course. It’s always served players well to go out on loan here, you can see that with some of the guys who have come into the first team – hopefully I can do the same.
When you are here – training with the first team can do nothing but aid your development?
I’m training with Premier League players – and you’ve got to be training with the best if you want to be with the best. It’s helping me out.
Have you nailed down a position yet? You seem to be able to play all over the pitch!
I’m not even sure myself on my position! I’ll play anywhere, but sooner or later I’ll need to nail down a position of my own. It’s a good thing in some respects to be versatile but I’d like to make one my own. I’d like to think that I’m a striker, I played most my games down at Exeter up front , I do enjoy it and I think that’s where I’m most effective.