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Herron: ‘To qualify from this group is a big achievement for us’

10 November 2016

Academy manager underlines valuable experience gained from Checkatrade Trophy run...

Despite the defeat at the hands of Yeovil on Wednesday evening, Reading Academy manager Lee Herron praised a young Reading side for progressing to the next stage of the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Royals were beaten narrowly by the Glovers at Madejski Stadium despite dominating possession and creating the vast majority of the chances in front of a home crowd. Herron believes the experience gained is invaluable for the development of the youngsters and is looking forward to the next step of the competition.

“To qualify from this group is a big achievement for us and we need to appreciate that,” reflected Herron. “Our young players are learning by playing against seasoned pro’s. Even the game against Yeovil, they have kept six clean sheets this season, so we are going into that game with players aged, 17, 18, 19 who are coming up against that solid defence.”

“Were weren’t able to break them down, but it was a great leaning experience and something for them to reflect on. It teaches them that you can lose a game even if you dominate it possession wise.  You can’t replicate the experience gained from night like Wednesday on the training ground.”

Reading fielded a team with several young first team squad members on Wednesday, and Herron says the chance to play alongside these players was great way for the academy players to learn what it takes to make that next step.
“It was important for some of the younger boys in the first team squad to get minutes tonight,” said the Academy manager. “You can see people like Liam Kelly that’s why he is in and around the first team with the quality that he shows. It’s important for the young players that played alongside him they can see that and see what’s required to get there.

“Travelling away in the next round is another good experience for the boys,” continued Lee. “As I’ve said before, the development of our young players is all about these kind of experiences. The more different experiences we can give the better and more rounded the players will become.

“What we’re looking to do is try to evolve a philosophy at the club, that doesn’t just start with the first team that’s got to be all the way through. We want that to happen and progress through the club for years to come. “

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