Steve says youth will get their chance to impressReading boss Steve Clarke says that next month’s tour to Thailand will provide a number of the club’s U21s players with the chance to stake a claim for a spot in the first team.
The Royals’ development squad enjoyed a hugely successful season last year by winning promotion to Premier League Division One.
Eleven academy graduates made their first-team bows in 2014/15 and Clarke says that the trip to the Far East will be another opportunity for the young professionals to impress.
“It will be a very young squad that travels to Thailand,” said the Reading manager. “Obviously if we can get one or two transfers over the line before then, then great. But if not then there is going to be a lot of space for the U21s, who did fantastically well to win promotion to the top division.
“There’s going to be an opportunity for them to come and work with the first team, travel, get a lot of experience and for me to see them up close.
“We’re going to be doing a lot of work with them in the coming weeks, which is great for me. This is a chance for them to break into the first team squad just like Jack Stacey and Tariqe Fosu did last year.”
The gaffer is hopeful that young striker Dominic Samuel will be able to play a full part in the tour of Thailand.
Samuel was enjoying a good loan spell at League One Coventry City last season, before his campaign was ended by injury.
He said: “Dominic is progressing very well. He perhaps won’t be quite ready to be involved with the first group when they come in on Thursday but I’m really hopeful that he’s able to join the squad that goes to Thailand.
“He did very well on loan at Coventry last season, scored a few goals, and as I’m sure every Reading supporter knows, it was goals that we were missing last year.”
Jem Karacan’s contract comes to an end next week and Clarke confirmed that the club were still awaiting a decision from the midfielder, having offered him a new deal.
He said: “The ball is in his court at the moment. His contract has run out and he is obviously searching around to make sure that he makes the right decision for himself, his family and his career.
“We respect that and he knows that we’re waiting on his decision.”
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