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Pearce could make 200th Royals start

7 November 2014

Defender delighted to approach double-century milestone

Alex Pearce will make his 200th start for Reading tomorrow, if he lines up against Charlton at the Madejski.

The centre-back, who turns 26 on Sunday, progressed through the club’s academy ranks and made his Royals debut in the FA Cup against Burnley in January 2007.

He then joined Northampton Town on loan for the remainder of the 06/07 season, and notched his inaugural professional goal in a 2-1 Cobblers win over Scunthorpe.

Temporary stints at AFC Bournemouth and Norwich City came the following year, and 08/09 saw Pearce begin to establish himself in the Royals’ defence before joining Southampton on loan.

A first Reading goal arrived, prior to being borrowed by the Saints, in a 5-1 Carling Cup success over Luton Town and, upon his return, he bagged the first equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Plymouth Argyle in the Championship.

The Oxford-raised defender lifted the Championship title in 11/12 and he is hoping to enjoy a lot more success with the club.

“To start 200 games for the club is a massive thing for myself,” said Pearce. “I’ve been here since I was 12 years old and, to come right up through the ranks, I’ve got a big feel for the place.

“There’s loads of us that have come through the academy, too many to mention, and it’s great to be part of a club that I’ve known for so long. Hopefully there are many more appearances to come from me.

“Of course, you never stop learning over the years. You always want to keep improving and you do in every game you play. With the more experience you can get, the better player you will be.”

The Royals will use tomorrow’s Championship clash with Charlton to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The defender said: “That goes without saying and I’m sure there will be a minute’s silence before the game. Honouring those who have lost their lives is a massive thing for this football club. We take pride in doing that sort of thing and I’m sure the fans will appreciate it all.”

Pearce played 90 minutes of Tuesday’s emphatic victory over Rotherham United on Tuesday night and he believes it was the ideal way to respond to a recent dip in form.

He said: “It was a great victory for us on Tuesday night and to react from the Blackburn defeat in a positive manner was a bit thing. Hopefully now we can go on a run.”

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