Academy product's debut delightAfter scoring within four minutes of his professional debut on Tuesday night - a delighted Craig Tanner spoke with impressive maturity to Reading FC Player. Click here to see the full interview - or read on below!
Craig – what a dream debut for you to come off the bench and score for the first team!
To be honest I can’t really put it into words, the pride I felt putting on the Reading jersey and coming out just for the four minutes was immense, let alone getting a chance to put it in the back of the net. I can’t really describe it. The pride is just overwhelming at the moment
It must be all the more poignant having been at the club since the age of eight and progressed through every level to this point, after a wonderful season with the U21s last year?
It’s been 12 twelve long hard years. There’s been ups and downs throughout; injuries, knockbacks – but that’s what helps you build as a character. The 21s is a better stepping stone after it replaced the reserves, and you’ve got a manager like Nigel Adkins, coaches like Dean Wilkins and Andy Crosby – it makes it such an easy path. You still have to up your work rate, up the attention to detail – but with their man management skills it makes it a lot easier.
There were twelve Academy players in the squad tonight – does that help your transition?
Yeah. They’re all very understanding, they all came to me and congratulated me after the game. It just shows how much team spirit and togetherness you have due to the fact that we have so many Academy players coming through.
So many people have a role in a young player’s development at Reading FC – a few people to thank we’re sure!
I could go on all night! From Brendan Rodgers who got me here, to Geoff Warner, Nas Bashir – people who have left the club that had a massive influence on me. Of course there's Eamonn Dolan too - I could be here all night naming and thanking so many people! I’d like to thank everyone who has got me to this stage. But I don’t think I’ve got anywhere yet. Once I’ve played 500 games and scored 499 goals…I’ll think a lot better of myself then.