Royals forward set to continue his recovery from injury with U23sRoyals striker Dominic Samuel will be continuing his recovery from injury with the U23s on Friday when they take on Manchester City in Premier League 2 at Madejski Stadium.
The 22-year-old striker, who was heavily involved in the first team during pre-season, picked up an injury in the Royals' friendly 2-1 win over Swindon just over a fortnight before the beginning of the new campaign.
“The main thing for me is that I’m back out playing, I’m fit, and hopefully I can stay fit for the remainder of the season,” said Samuel.
“My main focus is Friday against City, and making sure I can keep my fitness progressing and stay injury-free. It was a frustrating result on Tuesday against Spurs but hopefully we can bounce back well against City.”
After his injury layoff, Samuel feels he has come back stronger both physically and mentally as he looks forward to getting back into the rhythm of regular football.
“It was frustrating not being able to be fit for at the beginning of the season and watching games from the sidelines,” admitted the striker.
“That’s football though, you do get injuries sometimes at the wrong time, it’s just about how you get over it.
“I think now that I’m fit, mentally I’m stronger, so hopefully I can push through now and stay injury free and hopefully I can get my opportunity soon.”
Midfielder Liam Kelly, who made his debut against MK Dons in the EFL Cup was the 34th Academy player from Eamonn Dolan’s time as its manager to debut for the Royals first team.
Samuel, who himself is a product of the Academy, underlined the achievement of the club’s youth system, with Kelly the latest example of its success.
“This club is great at producing players from a young age,” said Academy graduate Samuel.
“They are improving as an academy all the time, if I was one of the younger boys now I’d be thinking, ‘I have a good chance at making it to the first team one day if I work hard at it.’
"It’s really good that the boys from the Academy are getting the chance to play for the first team.”