"It gives the lads a great stepping stone"
Development Coach Chris Cummins believes the Barclays Under 21 Premier League is proving to be a useful tool in the development of the club’s young players.
The Royals’ youngsters recently kicked off the second phase of their campaign with a 3-0 victory over Newcastle, and with a number of prospects already catching the eye, the high standard of games has clearly been a great addition to the schedule.
“It’s the first year this league has been running for the U21s and the games have been great. You never really know what you’re going to come up against,” said Cummins.
“It gives the lads a great stepping stone to see what first team football is about. Besides the intensity of a crowd, it’s very similar – and we’re looking forward to the games. It’s a great way to develop young players, especially when we have senior pros in lending their experience.”
The convincing win on Tyneside last week, courtesy of a brace from Jordan Obita and a Craig Tanner strike, was made all the more impressive given that the Toon fielded a number of experienced players.
“It was the first time we had gone with a really, really young team. The conditions weren’t great, it was one of the windiest games I’ve ever been involved in, but we came away with a 3-0 win.
“We were a little bit unfortunate to not score more than three goals and I was really pleased with the lads.”