Adkins on Academy
Manager Nigel Adkins wants to give young players their opportunity in the first team - and says our Category One Academy status is a huge step in the right direction.
It was confirmed last week that we will be among a small number of Academies with the highest possible status; the club achieving a strategic goal to continue our youth development programme at the very top level in the UK and further afield.
The boss said, "Category One is really exciting and we've got a good setup here. We're looking forward to it and giving all of them an opportunity to keep progressing through to the first team. We want to see whether we can get youngsters through the system – several of them have been training with us, and that's really pleasing.
"Category One gives us a great foundation for the youngsters, all being well, so we can have a good programme, keep bringing those players through into the first team."
Indeed, the boss says there are many reasons to be positive ahead of the new season, which begins against Ipswich at home on 3rd August.
He said, "I listened to the Chairman Sir John Madejski talk about the recent years and it's great to think that Reading are in the most successful period of the club's history. It's great to think that we can challenge at the top end of the Championship to get to the Premier League. Alright, we've come down but maybe we can challenge. Having learned the lessons, we keep building on the successful that we've had and the foundations.
"We want to play winning football but we want to play entertaining football for the supporters. They pay hard-earned cash to travel the length and breadth of the country. They want to know that the players are going to give it everything they've got, work really hard and endeavour to win games of football.
"The players want to be in the Premier League so they realise they've got to look after themselves. They realise how they can improve, how they can adapt to different formations that teams play against you so you can be equipped in several different ways to overcome that, control the game of football, and most importantly to win."