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Ahead of the game: Opening game against the Lilywhites

5 August 2016

Everything you need to know ahead of our game with North End

Reading v Preston North End
Madejski Stadium
Sky Bet Championship
Saturday 6th August 2016, 3pm

After a long summer's wait, the EFL Sky Bet Championship season finally kicks-off again this Saturday as Jaap Stam’s Royals host Preston North End in their first fixture of 2016-17.

Pre-season, as it usually does, has whet the appetite and heightened anticipation for the new EFL season which is now just around the corner. With the Royals winning three of their five games during those summer preparations, earning emphatic wins against both Boreham Wood and Al-Taawoun, there is certainly a positive atmosphere heading into the game against Preston this weekend.

In the last outing of pre-season, Premier League Bournemouth were held to a draw at the home of the Royals, showcasing the talent and capability of Jaap Stam’s side against top tier visitors last Friday night.

Coincidently, the Lilywhites were the visitors in the final game at Madejski Stadium in 2015-16, but the Royals will be looking to better that result this time around. With the addition of new players and staff in and around the club, all raring to go, you certainly don’t want to miss out on Stam's first league game in charge at Madejski Stadium…

Tickets are still available for our clash with Preston North End, and if you are a Member Card holder and buy your ticket in advance of three hours before kick-off, you will be eligible for a saving of £3 compared to matchday prices.

You can also enjoy a more premium matchday experience in the newly renovated Upper-West Stand concourse, which will be open for the first time for fans this season!  

The Royals also have a special family section in the Eamonn Dolan Stand, with reduced ticket prices for you and your family.

For more information about ticket prices and how to purchase, click here.

On a matchday, only very limited overflow parking is available at the stadium for £8 - we advise supporters to consider one of our off-site car parks. Non-Permit holders enter the Stadium via Northern Way only and Permit holders enter via Hurst Way and Northern Way.

If you have a child under the age of 12 in your car, you will be eligible to park in our special family parking area for £8 - spaces are available in advance by phoning the Ticket Office on 0118 968 1313 or visiting the Ticket Office in person. If purchasing in advance, parking permits will be posted or available for collection from the Main Ticket Office prior to matchday.

For more information about Madejski Stadium parking, click here.

If you’re coming on public transport, make sure you follow @reading buses on Twitter or visit to get more information about your route and football buses.


Any questions about Travel and Transport or to book disabled parking at the Madejski Stadium then contact or telephone 0118 968 1211.

📰 @Chrisgunter16: "Preston will be facing a completely different Reading team this season."

— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) 4 August 2016

Kermorgant, McCleary and Gravenberch could all be available on Saturday, confirms Stam:

— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) 4 August 2016

Andy Davies
will be the referee for our first game of the new season. He was also the referee at Madejski Stadium when the Royals put seven past Bolton with Adam Le Fondre netting a first-half hat-trick in January 2014. Davies officiated in 36 games in 2015-16, handing out 127 yellow cards and five reds.   

At his side running the line will be Dan Cook and Darren Blunden, while the fourth official on the afternoon will be James Linington.

Following the launch of our brand new 2016/17 kit last week, Season Ticket holders will be eligible for a discount on the first shirt order they place in store.  £10 will be taken off the new kit for every Adult or ‘65 & Over’ Season Ticket holder - in the Megastore only.

The Season Ticket holder discount is only available for those who visit the Megastore in person – it is not available online. However, the offer will run for two weeks, meaning you can visit the Megastore to buy your shirt and claim your discount at any time up until 10.30pm next Tuesday 9th August 2016 – after the final whistle following our EFL Cup clash against Plymouth Argyle here at Madejski Stadium.

There will also be additional merchandise units situated in the Fun Zone and the Fan Zone – each will be open from 12:30pm until kick-off, at half-time and again after the match. The new kit will also be available at these outlets as well as in the Megastore.

There will be a revamped concourse menu in place for the 2016-17 season, details of which can be found by clicking here.

We can also announce that Piglets will be the new supplier of pies at Reading FC. They will be doing pies of the month throughout the season – the first batch of pies for this month is ‘Minced beef and Reading sauce’.

If you require some extra reading material before the match gets underway at 3pm, or you fancy something to feast your eyes upon at half-time, then make sure you don’t miss out in purchasing our matchday programme, available from sellers around the ground for just £3!

This issue will include tributes to Eamonn Dolan, words from the gaffer, an insight into our opponents Preston North End as well as a host of other new features to be included within The Royal this season. Make sure you don’t miss out… 

EFL title sponsors Sky Bet have odds of 23/20 for Reading to take victory on Saturday, while you can get 13/5 on Preston North End taking all three points on the afternoon and 21/10 on the game ending in a stalemate.

Deniss Rakels netted twice during pre-season, and you can gets odds of 11/2 for him to score the game’s first goal. If you feel like taking a chance on one of our new signings then Roy Beerens is currently at 9/1 to score first.  

Saturday’s match against Preston is dedicated to Eamonn Dolan – it will be host to the unveiling of the newly titled Eamonn Dolan Stand. Prior to the opening of the turnstiles at 1:30pm, we will officially be opening the Eamonn Dolan Stand, with Co-Chairman Sir John Madejski joining members of Eamonn’s family to unveil a plaque in his honour.

Also in conjunction with tributes to Eamonn, Royals fans are encouraged to be in their seat by 2:45pm so that they can watch a fitting pre-match video compilation about Eamonn’s life and career which will be played on our big screen in the build up to kick-off.

Fans are also encouraged to be in their seats as the players walk out the tunnel, with a Guard of honour formed by a selection of our current crop of Academy players set to welcome the Royals and Preston North End onto the pitch in tribute to Eamonn Dolan. This will be followed by a minute’s applause before kick-off.

It also bears mention that the Fan Zone (Royals Rendezvous) and the Pie & Mash outlet in the East Stand will stay open post-match for at least half an hour. So feel free to stick around and enjoy your day after the final whistle has sounded.

Download our Guide to the Game by clicking here. 


A reminder to all fans attending the game on Saturday, there will be a bucket collection for the charity, Action Bladder Cancer UK, in tribute to Eamonn Dolan.

Bladder cancer is not a rare cancer – it is the 7th most common overall in the UK. Despite these facts, not many people have heard about bladder cancer, but ABC UK want to change that. They need funding to carry out their vital work, and your donations can help them do that.   

If you can’t make it to the game, but still want to donate, then visit their website and click the green donate button.

The best way to follow the game live is at Madejski Stadium in person, by getting behind the team!

But if you can’t make it to the match, you can listen to every pass, tackle and goal with live audio commentary on Reading FC PlayerHD for as little as £4.49 per month. Not only that, but our online subscription also allows you access to extended match highlights and exclusive interviews which you won’t see anywhere else.

As ever, we’ll also provide live updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as looking out for our match photos on Instagram.

Head to Snapchat and find 'officialrfc' to follow our matchday story as it unfolds!

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