Defender reflects on maiden appearance for ReadingIt has been quite a fortnight for Rob Dickie, at the end of quite a season.
At the end of April, he helped loan club Cheltenham Town to 101 points as they ran away with the National League title, earning a fifth straight win over Lincoln – and seven days later, he made his maiden first-team appearance in the Championship for Reading away at Blackburn.
While the rest of his former Robins teammates could afford to enjoy the break and revel in their title win, it was back to Hogwood for the defender where his number 46 shirt was printed, and where he kept working hard in preparation for the final weekend.
“It was a very proud day for me and my family – I really enjoyed it,” Dickie said. “Hopefully I can get many more appearances.
“I got a little hint that I might be involved at the start of the week, so I thought I’d train hard and do all I could to maybe get the chance to travel.
“I was a bit nervous, but I feel like I would have been more nervous if I hadn’t had the first-team experience that I had earlier in the season. The manager told me to go out and enjoy it, and do what I’ve been doing all season on loan. That’s what I tried to do.”
Naturally, when Dickie came on for the second half he could feel the gulf in quality between the National League – three levels lower – and the Championship at Ewood Park.
But that quality included his teammates – in particular he praised his skipper for helping him through his first appearance.
“There are players in the Championship that have got it all – loads of experience and high-quality players,” he continued.
“Paul McShane really helped me out when I came on and talked me through it – he helped me a lot.”