Youngster gives take on maiden Madejski Stadium appearance17-year-old Josh Barrett made quite an impression on his home bow against Preston – playing the whole of the second half, the Academy youngster was at the heart of everything positive going forward against the Lilywhites.
Fans that have attended Under-18 and Under-21 fixtures this season will have already seen the youngster in action, as will travelling supporters that went to Huddersfield – but this was his first experience playing in front of more than 15,000 supporters at Madejski Stadium.
“It was a great experience playing today, it’s good to come on in front of the home fans; they’re always really supportive!” said Barrett.
“Obviously it’s not a great result, and it’s hard to take. There have been a difficult few weeks recently. But I’m glad to get out there and show the fans what I can do.
“When you come on you want have to have a couple of touches, put in a few good passes and keep the ball. After that it just comes naturally as you get into the game. The lads are great they help me a lot as I’m young and they always keep me on my toes. The gaffer has given me the chance, which is massive for me because that’s where every young aspiring footballer wants to be.
“Nobody wants to lose, it’s a hard thing to take for every player in the dressing room. We need to get better at keeping hold of the games and build from it and get the results coming in and get up the table next season.”
Still an Academy player at present, Barrett officially joins the pro ranks this summer on the completion of his scholarship.
And he hopes to kick on in the new campaign and stake his claim for a first-team place – as well as in our final away trip against Blackburn next weekend.
“I know I need to work hard over the off season and get back raring to go!” he continued. “I’m sure everyone else will be, because it’s a massive club it needs to be in the Premier League. That’s where we need to be and that’s where we need to get to.
“It’s exciting for me as a young player coming up, trying to build forward and get into the Prem. It’s going to be good.”