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Dodds delighted by U18 pre-season progress

Under-18s manager pleased to see youngsters rise through the ranks

11 August 2017

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Under-18 manager David Dodds has lauded the club's approach to developing young players ahead of his side's new season starting.

A host of Academy players travelled with the first team on our pre-season tour of Holland last month, extending their development opportunities ahead of the new campaign.

The Reading FC Academy setup has a proven track record in player development as well, with every single first team squad containing at least one Academy graduate for more than nine years!

Dodds and his Under-18 side get their season underway on Saturday morning at home to Swansea City.

"It has been a really interesting pre-season," Dodds said. "We've had several of the boys training with the Under-23s, in fact we've left three or four of them with them permanently which is fantastic!

"That, in turn, has let us get a few of the U15s and U16s during pre-season and have a little look and there are some really talented lads coming through. 

"There are some really good lads, there's a few with experience from last year as well which is always good. They played in their first year, which is always a good experience, which puts them in good stead for this year."


Preview: U23s kick off new campaign on Monday in Southampton

11 August 2017

Dodds was full of praise for the philosophy of the club as a whole, with the aim of getting Academy players into the first team picture.

The club has added four names to the list of Academy graduates in the past week, with Omar Richards, Andy Rinomhota, Sam Smith and Axel Andresson all making their senior debuts.

"This year we've changed the way we do things. Brian Tevreden (Sporting Director) is very much for getting people out of their comfort zones, promoting young players if they're good enough. 

"That's a really good philosophy, Lee Herron (Academy Manager) has also embedded that in the Academy, so now we're playing Under-15s and 16s in the Under-18s. So what will happen there is results possibly will go down, however, the development of the players will go up!

"It'll be a really interesting season as far as development goes, we're seeing that as we speak with U23s going into the first team squad because of a few injuries. In turn, some scholars have gone into the U23s so it's going well as far as development and progression goes."

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