Academy coach on dramatic win
The under 18s booked their place in the fifth round in dramatic fashion, as Crewe Alexandra scored in the 90th minute and in the dying stages of extra time to force the tie to penalties - before a save from goalkeeper Lewis Ward sealed a 4-2 win after spot kicks.
"It was a typical FA Cup game, it can go one way or the other and form goes out the window," said Gilkes.
"It was a really competitive game, I thought we scored three really good goals, executed them really well. To be fair to Crewe they battled all the way and pushed us all the way. Strangely enough by going to extra time and penalties, and getting the right result, it was a bonus for the players – they can take that into the next game and have experience for the future. It’s good for their progression and development, they’ve been through that now and will have a better understanding of what’s required, taking penalties when you’re fatigued, mentally and physically - a good experience all round."
Michael, who made almost 400 appearances for Reading, is currently a professional phase coach at Hogwood Park, playing a role in the development of our Academy products.
"I’m pleased that Eamonn Dolan, David Dodds and everyone have given me the opportunity to come back to the football club in this role. I’m learning all the time and hopefully any experience I have I can pass on to those young players, to try and get them into our first team. That's our ultimate goal - but if they can’t be successful here then hopefully we give them the tools to be successful somewhere else."