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McDermott pays tribute to ‘a wonderful human being’

5 May 2016

Manager praises fans’ pick Ali

Ali Al-Habsi, who arrived in Reading last summer, wasted no time in endearing himself to the Royals faithful – his performances this season meant that he accrued the most votes in the Player of the Season running, and collected the award last Saturday ahead of our last Madejski Stadium match of 2015/16.

And Royals boss Brian McDermott had nothing but praise for the way that the stopper has represented the Royals this season – but hopes that Ali will have something to celebrate as a squad in 12 months’ time!

“He is a great individual and a great guy – he has had a terrific season,” said the manager.  “Obviously you don’t want your goalkeeper winning Player of the Season, because it means he has had too many shots to save!

“So with all due respect, let’s hope he doesn’t win it next season, and for all the right reasons!  He has done a great job, he is a wonderful human being, and I’ve got an awful lot of time for him.

“He gives credit to other people and he’s a really good guy.  He has that way with him – he wants the younger players to do well, and he has been captain a few times as well.  That’s what I think of him – I’ve got the utmost respect for Ali.

“It’s important to me that the players represent the club in the right manner.  He’s definitely a character that does that.”

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