Striker pleased to get his first pre-season goalRoyals forward Yann Kermorgant netted the game-sealing goal against Al-Taawoun – a delightful free-kick from the Frenchman was the final action of the match in Arnhem, making it 3-1 to Reading.
The team had trained in the morning ahead of the game, and typically Kermorgant had stayed behind a little longer to keep working on his set-piece technique on the training pitch.
“I’m really pleased with the free-kick – I love to do it, so it was good to get that goal just before the end of the game and win 3-1,” said Yann.
“To be fair I didn’t practice particularly well in training! But it’s always the same – scoring free-kicks in training is not the most important; it’s to score in a game.
“It’s quite funny – the head physio Jon [Urwin] told me that I was going to score a free-kick in the match, and he was right!”
The training camp in Oosterbeek has helped the players develop closer connections and enjoy each other’s company – with new faces also arriving into the camp, it has meant that they are developing those team bonds which really count when the season kicks off.
“A training camp is really important in pre-season – it is massive,” he continued. “You need to take your head away from the training ground and just be together. It is good to have a long week like we did where we’re working hard and have some time together.
“It has been good to play a few games and things together at the hotel, and not just on the iPad or a phone on your own – it is good to have some fun together.
“They are all good lads here. We try to make sure the new boys are settling well and we are doing everything we can to take them into the squad and make sure they are happy with the atmosphere.”
The win against Al-Taawoun was the second of five scheduled friendlies for the first team ahead of the new year; Yann believes that those fixtures against other opponents will provide the acid test for what they have been working on in training.
Yann continued: “The games are here to build your fitness and to get some connection between the players. We are working with the new system with the manager so we need some games to get used to it, so hopefully we will be ready in three weeks for the start of the season.
“You need to improve every game. If you ask us whether we are ready today, then of course we are not. We need to work hard again and carry on playing and training… we have three weeks to be ready for the start of the season.
“The games are the most important aspect. You can work on things in training but the truth is on the pitch in the games. That is where you can see whether the things you have worked on during the week is working on the pitch.
“We had a good game [against Al-Taawoun] – it was not an easy game to be fair because they played quite well. And on Tuesday we will have another test against Swindon, who are a good team as well.”