Cardwell, Husin, Ward, Watson and Lawal sign
The Royals have agreed professional contracts with five more young Academy stars - making it a total of thirteen young professionals who have committed themselves to the Royals in the last ten days.
Harry Cardwell, Lewis Ward, Tennai Watson and Noor Husin all played an integral part in our FA Youth Cup success last season, while pacy winger Hammad Lawal will be a second year scholar to keep a keen eye on this season.
Late last week, England under-18 international centre back Rob Dickie, Scotland youth international George McLennan and promising goalkeeper Dan Lincoln all put pen to paper, after Dominic Samuel, Stuart Moore, Shane Griffin, Sean Long and Nana Owusu had all committed their future to the club only days before.
Powerhouse centre forward who was signed from Hull City in the summer of 2013. Strong, skilful and with a good turn of pace and excellent movement in leading the line, Cardwell was one of the heroes of our under-18s' cup run last season, scoring against Leeds and Accrington Stanley before stunning Liverpool with a magnificent solo goal to open the scoring in the quarter-final in real style. Scored a second in that game in fact and, having finished the season as joint top scorer for our under-18s and having fired three more at under-21 level, he went on to represent Scotland's under-19s this summer.
Towering stopper who was a mainstay between the sticks for our under-18s last season. The gifted shot-stopper, who has played for England at youth level, was the hero in a penalty shootout win over Crewe Alexandra early in that incredible run to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals, and produced some remarkable performances all season for our rampant Academy outfit.
Quick, talented and versatile full back, who made more starts than any other for our under-18s last season - making 28(+3) appearances in 2013-14. Most regularly deployed at right-back, Watson only turned 17 in March and is expected to have a bright future ahead of him. Starred going forward and defensively in our FA Youth Cup success last season.
Attacking midfielder Noor Husin scored three times in our under-18s' league campaign last season, notching against Newcastle United, Leicester City and a top corner effort against Wolves in 2013-14. Having come off the bench, he helped set up George McLennan's last gasp equaliser in extra time against Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final at Madejski Stadium and then held his nerve to stroke home a penalty in the shootout and send the Royals into uncharted territory.
Very fast wide player in the same mould as the likes of Aaron Lennon, Hammad Lawal scored his first goal for our under-18s in a 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur last season. Turning 18 in September, Lawal also made his under-21 bow last season and remains a bright prospect for the future.