Youngster on gaining confidence
Michael Hector says he takes inspiration from a number of players who have successfully made the transition from the Royals youth set-up to the first team.
The 20-year-old Academy graduate enjoyed a fruitful 2012/13 season out on loan at three Football League clubs, and says he's determined to prove that he can play week in, week out.
"It’s been good for me out on loan," Michael said. "I’ve managed to get 30-40 league games under my belt. And it’s been a season of ups and downs. With Shrewsbury, we started off well, but it ended a bit short for me.
"Then I went back to Aldershot for another really good loan spell – I got 10 or 12 games under my belt there, and a good FA Cup run. Then I moved on to Cheltenham – another great move for me. A team fighting for promotion and obviously we missed out at the end, but it was a great experience and something I will always remember.
"You gain confidence. You prove to yourself that you can play first team football on a Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday. And when you come back to Reading you’ve got a spring in your step and you feel like you’re part of the group. They players are always giving you information, chatting with you, telling you what they went through. It’s a family at Reading and it’s good to be here and involved with it.
"Those guys have worked hard to get to the position they’re in now. But seeing what they’ve done, it breathes confidence into us to go out on loan and prove to the manager and to Nick Hammond that we can play week in, week out in the Football League. Hopefully I’ve shown them that this season."
Michael added that his interaction with manager Nigel Adkins has been very positive, and outlined his aims for 2013/14.
"My aims now are to have a good pre-season and hopefully make my Reading debut. And if that doesn’t happen, to play as high as possible on loan.
"I’ve trained under Adkins and Crosby whilst I was at Cheltenham, for a day or two which was great. And he’s watched my clips at Cheltenham and he’s very positive with his feedback. He’s said he’s going to sit down and have a chat with me, so that will be good."