"It's a dream come true"
This time last year, Adam Le Fondre was visiting Gresty Road for a League Two clash with Crewe. He scored.
One year on, and Alfie was scoring again…the Royals’ first goal back in the Barclays Premier League.
“I’m delighted,” the pint-sized striker told the television cameras after his penalty kick equaliser. “It’s such a great occasion for me, especially coming from where I have.
“Last season I was playing against Plymouth and Crewe away and today it was Stoke City at home in the Premier League.
“It’s a dream come true for me. It’s the stuff dreams are made of and I can’t thank Reading enough for giving me the chance. I just hope my goals can repay them.”
They already have Alfie! Le Fondre stepped up to slot home an 88th minute spotkick and earn Brian McDermott’s men their first point of the top flight season.
“I always had belief in my ability that I could play in a higher league and score goals in any division. As long as I get the chances, I know I’ll score. Today, I got to take the penalty and I knew I’d score.
“The referee kept me waiting a long time, he took ages to get the Stoke players out of the box. It rattled my nerves a little but I just thought, ‘this is going in – there’s no two ways about it’!
“I didn’t get the chance to take one last year - I was either off the pitch or overruled by Hartey or Hunty. But I laid a marker down in pre-season and I got the ball today – no-one was taking it off me!
“A point was the least we deserved - especially in the second half when I don’t think Stoke really threatened us.
“They were very lucky with their goal – Feds is distraught about it as he expects better of himself. He’s such a good keeper and sets such high standards.
“We should have got more out of the game, so we’re a little bit disappointed - but we’ll take heart from the point.”
Now, the small matter of a match against the European champions on Wednesday night!
“It’s quite surreal really. Stepping out at Stamford Bridge it will really hit home how far I’ve come. It will be amazing. And I’m sure we’ll go there with the same ethos and just attack.”
“We are going to get better as a team and I think we have a great group here. If I keep scoring then I will keep my place, that’s my priority. It’s as simple as that really.”
A full video interview with Le Fondre is available here on Reading FC Player.