Local rivals will lock horns at the County Ground on Tuesday 19th JulyAs part of our pre-season preparations for the 2016-17 season, the Royals will take on Swindon Town at the County Ground on Tuesday 19th July, kick-off 7.45pm.
Just 41 miles separate the two sides and the fixture is sure to be a popular one with both Robins and Royals fans as Luke Williams’ men prepare for a new season in League One after a 16th placed finish in 2015-16.
The two teams last met competitively more than 14 years ago when the local rivals played out a feisty goalless affair in February 2002 – Reading’s Sammy Igoe and then Swindon Town’s Alan Reeves and Paul McAreavey all saw red in a share of the spoils in Wiltshire.
Swindon had beaten Alan Pardew’s men earlier that same season, goals from Giuliano Grazioli, Danny Invincibile and Jo Kuffour cancelling out Darius Henderson’s 80th minute finish in a 3-1 win at Madejski Stadium. The Royals, however, went on to win automatic promotion to the second tier at the end of that 2001-2 campaign and the teams have not played in the same division since.
Reading’s last competitive win over Swindon came in March 2001 when Jamie Cureton scored the only goal of the game at the County Ground.
The Royals have enjoyed a pre-season affair at Swindon in more recent times – taking part in a friendly against Town in July 2011 in preparation for what was to be a title-winning Championship campaign for the Royals.
In front of 1,159 away fans that afternoon, the Royals won 2-1 against Paolo Di Canio’s hosts thanks to a penalty kick, won by Jobi McAnuff and converted by Shane Long, and then a 71st minute headed winner from Mathieu Manset – after an Alex Pearce own goal had handed the Robins a first half advantage.
Meanwhile, the club have taken the decision not to embark on an overseas pre-season tour this summer. Despite preliminary discussions about potentially taking the squad away as part of our summer preparations, with the focus now fully set on building a new-look squad and binding together a new group of players, it was agreed that it would better serve the squad to be primed for 2016-17 with more time on the training pitch at Hogwood Park and a series of away fixtures in this country which many more of our supporters will be able to attend - as well as a Madejski Stadium curtain-raiser which we hope to announce very shortly.
Reading have already confirmed one other pre-season fixture – an away trip to National League outfit Boreham Wood at Meadow Park on Saturday 9th July, kick-off 3pm.
Details of further pre-season friendlies will be unveiled throughout the course of the coming days and weeks, so please stay tuned to the official website if you want to ensure you pencil every date into your diary this summer.
Ticket prices for the Swindon fixture and all of the club’s other pre-season matches will be announced in due course.