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Interviews

Rinomhota revels in making first team debut

Midfielder says fellow young Royals can be proud after Carabao Cup victory

9 August 2017

Royals' Academy product Andy Rinomhota was delighted to make his full first team debut, in our 2-0 victory against Gillingham in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

The young midfielder was one of a whopping 10 players to come from our youth system, to make up the squad at Madejski Stadium in midweek.

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Rinomhota, 20, put in a sterling performance in central midfield alongside fellow Academy graduate Liam Kelly, with the youngster feeling proud to get his chance to show his talent in senior football.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," he smiled. "On a personal note, I've been working hard recently and training with the first team in pre-season, it looks to have paid off getting my chance in the cup game! It was great to sign it off with a win, and getting into the next round.

"I only missed one game last season in the under-23s and in the Checkatrade Trophy, that was really good experience for me and all the other lads who played in that.

"It gets us used to first team football and what you could be coming up against in the Championship. Playing with the first team players, there's a much higher tempo but they're experienced, they make it easy for you and they help the young lads out."

There were first starts for Academy products Sam Smith and Omar Richards in front of a home crowd last night, with new signings Mo Barrow and Pelle Clement also making their first Madejski appearances on Tuesday night.

The bench was packed with Academy talent, as well as the fans witnessing a welcome return for midfielder Stephen Quinn following a long-term injury.

Axel Andresson also came on to make his first senior appearance off the bench, with Rinomhota heaping praise on his young team-mates who made the step up against an experienced League One side.

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"A few of us got our debuts and everybody seemed to do well. Axel's come off the bench and made an impact, no-one's beaten him in the air! He's done well against the big lad up front.

"I think everyone can be proud of themselves with how they played.

"The gaffer and coaches have been really helpful, this gaffer has given a lot of boys their chances. Taking us all on tour (to Holland) as well, it really helped us kick on and push through and it's shown with how everyone played.

"No-one has let themselves down, so we've got to give them a big thank you as well!"

The draw for the next round of the Carabao Cup takes place live on Sky Sports on Thursday night, following the conclusion of Sunderland vs Bury in Round One.


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