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Pearce's McCarthy Praise

28 May 2013

England legend hails Alex and Academy

Stuart Pearce is the latest figure to sing the praises of Alex McCarthy ahead of England's clash with the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday evening.

The 51-year-old, who earned 78 caps for his country, has managed the Royals star at under 21 level - and has long been an admirer of the Guildford born stopper.

"He has played really well, I was here with Roy for a game when he was absolutely outstanding, he really was," said Pearce.

"The one thing he’s proved is that if you’re playing well enough, no matter whether it’s talked about as a fashionable club, you’ll get your opportunity. Alex is a point in case on that. He’s in the England squad which tells you something straight away. He wouldn’t be in there if Roy didn’t trust him. "He’s got a real composure, he’s a sensible young man, very mature and takes everything in his stride, that shows on the pitch. The World Cup is a massive incentive for every player, especially in Brazil, it’s exciting times."

The England under 21 boss also says Alex's call-up to the full England squad sends a message about how strong Reading's Academy has been over a number of years.

Pearce said, "Alex coming through really is the tip of the iceberg, showcasing someone through your Academy into the full England team, that sends a message in itself. I watched Reading under 18s at Fulham in the play-off decider, which shows things are going in the right direction in the Academy. He has been around the under 21s in the past and was very unfortunate to miss out on the Olympic squad. We could only take two goalkeepers and Alex was next, he missed out which was a shame for him."

Use the hashtag #AcademyWeek to discuss the best season in our Academy's history.

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