Defender loving life at Reading
Pierce Sweeney had a broad smile on his face as he spoke to readingfc.co.uk after scoring his first goal for Reading - a last gasp winner away at Norwich in a crunch Barclays Under-21 Premier League match.
The 18-year-old struck home from a corner to give the table-topping Royals their sixth win in eight games in a crucial first vs second match in Norfolk - scroll down to the bottom of the story to watch the goal!
"I'm absolutely delighted to have scored my first goal for Reading," Pierce revelled. "And to score the winner in such an important game for us and to stretch the lead for us at the top against Norwich.
"It was a tough game - it was two good sides going up against each other. It went right to the end and luckily I got the winner from a corner. I'm delighted with myself and the team - we put in a really good effort.
"I think it's eight games unbeaten now with six clean sheets so it's a good thing to take from the game getting a clean sheet and playing well. The whole team is doing well."
Sweeney signed for the Royals last summer and has acquitted himself excellently into Chris Cummins' squad. As well as being a key part of the under-21s rich rein of form, the youngster has excelled on the international stage - captaining his native Ireland at under-19s level and receiving a nomination for the prestigious FAI awards back in February.
"I'm involved with the under 19s and have fortunately captained a few games. I'm looking forward to the European Championship qualifiers in Serbia in June so hopefully we'll get to the finals."
Pierce's aims for the rest of the season are simple; help the under-21s finish top of the league, which would qualify us into the under-21s finals - and keep performing on the pitch to improve his chances of breaking through into the first team.
"We're looking to win every game we have left. If we can finish top of the league we'll see who we draw next and give it our best shot. We've just got to keep working hard and see what happens," Sweeney added.
"I'm delighted to be at this club - it's a great club. There are great people at the club and there's a good few Irish players here too it's something for me to work towards. Hopefully I'll eventually get a sniff of the first team but at the minute I'm just biding my time in the under 21s, working hard and we'll see what happens."
Under 21s fixtures/results