Reading Academy graduate Josh Barrett has today penned a new contract at Madejski Stadium, keeping him with the club until the summer of 2021, whilst simultaneously agreeing a loan move to Coventry City for the remainder of the 2017/18 campaign.
19-year-old Barrett has 2(+2) senior appearances for the Royals, the most recent of which came at the beginning of the current campaign as he started in our Carabao Cup victory against League 1 outfit Gillingham.
Additionally, he has a further 15 appearances under his belt this term for our Under-21 and Under-23 squads, scoring nine goals so far. And now he pens a contract extension which keeps him on the Royals’ books for three and a half more years.
His loan with Coventry will officially begin on 1st January 2018 and runs until the summer as the Sky Blues chase promotion back to the third tier.
Reading manager Jaap Stam said, “Josh is a footballer with a great deal of potential – he has been demonstrating that this season in training and with our Under-23s, and he has earned his new deal at Reading. He will learn a lot with Coventry about playing competitive football and what kind of expectation that brings, how demanding the schedule can be, and hopefully he can help them in their push for promotion. It is up to Josh to earn and keep a place in their team by performing well and showing a good attitude, and I wish him every success during his time there.”
Barrett became the 39th player from our youth system to make a first-team debut when he made his bow from the bench at Huddersfield Town in March 2016.
He made two further first-team appearances that season, from the bench at Madejski Stadium against Preston and then starting away at Blackburn on the final day of the campaign.
Last year he was a regular in the Reading Under-23 side which earned a place in the final of the Premier League Cup, and on the international front Barrett has represented the Republic of Ireland up to Under-21 level.
And after contributing to our Under-23s’ good form in the early part of the campaign, Barrett will now join Mark Robins’ Sky Blues, who currently occupy the final play-off spot in League 2.
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “As we continue to build at Reading, it is imperative that our young and talented players form a key part of our future. So I am delighted that Josh has extended his deal with us and we hope he can reach his potential with us in the coming seasons. He now has a great opportunity to make his mark with Coventry this season and we will be watching his progress with keen interest.”
Technical Director Brian Tevreden added, “Josh has made an excellent contribution for Scott Marshall’s Under-23s so far this season, and it is important for his development as a player that he continues to push his boundaries. This loan with Coventry City will undoubtedly help him to understand the rigours of a league campaign and we wish him every success in his time there. And we look forward to welcoming Josh back in the summer, when he will bring that experience back with him to continue his progress in the blue and white hoops with a much-deserved new contract.”