One of many stand out performers last season, John Swift, was at Madejski Stadium erlier today to sign a new five-year contract as a Royal! A year after leavign Stamford Bridge to settle into a new home at Reading.
"I’m delighted to sign and I’m glad the club have put the faith in me and given me a deal of that length," he exclusively told the club's official iFollow sevice.
"Now I can't wait for the season to start. I ended up getting about three weeks off this summer - I was on holiday for two and then I had five days or so getting my fitness back up ahead of coming back into training.
"I’m feeling good physically and I think the team are looking good too. We didn’t have a good start to the friendly against Vitesse on Saturday, but we showed character to come back and I think if we can start the QPR game like we ended the Vitesse one, then we’ll give ourselves a good chance of winning next weekend."
Swift scored our opening day match-winner last season of course and he got off the mark from the penalty spot against Arnhem at Adams Park on Saturday. Penalties have not been a pleasant experience for the Royals star in recent months, but his successful strike from the spot on Saturday will go a little way towards helping to banish the demons of two penalty shootout disappointments.
"We didn’t scored many penalties last season of course, so it was good to step up on Saturday," Swift said.
"The England shootout was hard to take because it was my last trip with the 21s, so we wanted to end that tournament on a high - so to go out on penalties was horrible!
"And the play-off final with Reading was even harder to take – a season of hard work coming to an end over one penalty...horrible.
"But the aim has to be trying to take that next step now. I don’t think anyone expected us to do what we did last season - we all thought we’d have a good season, but to finish where we did was mad.
"We did what we went out to do and we didn't just get into the play-offs, which would have been a massive achievement, but we got to the final!
"We’ve had some good players come into the club and I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting season."
"We have high expectations of ourselves this season - there is going to be a lot of pressure on us. Every other team knows how we want to play and they’re going to come here knowing our style. But that is for us to worry about.
"We’ve had some good players come into the club and I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting season. Hopefully we can have another good season like the last one…or even better!"