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"I've supported the club all my life, it was special to be out there!"

Tom McIntyre on 'surreal' feeling after senior debut

16 December 2018

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He's had a Season Ticket since childhood, his family all support Reading and he's now graduated from our Academy.

Match Reports

Report | Rotherham vs Reading

15 December 2018

Having been with the club since the age of 6, the phrase 'one of our own' can absolutely apply to Tom McIntyre - and he became the latest in a long line of players to graduate from our youth system on Saturday afternoon.

McIntyre started alongside Tyler Blackett as the Royals were cruelly pegged back in the 90th minute against a physical Rotherham United side at the New York Stadium this weekend.

The 20-year-old from Earley put in a composed performance at centre-back against tough opposition, even battling on after a hefty blow to the head early in the first half.

Sporting a bruise near his left eyebrow, McIntyre still carried a smile when discussing his first start as a senior professional.

"It's magic really, it's the stuff you dream of," he said. 

"Having supported the club all my life, it was so special to be out there with the boys.

"I've come all the way through the age groups and that's the pinnacle of it - it's magic.

"I've seen so many other boys doing it that, going out there, it gave me great confidence because I've seen so many of them do well.

"I've seen Gylfi play and all the old boys, so it felt magic. It's just a bit surreal because you grew up watching them, to then finally be amongst them feels really special."

McIntyre said he had nine members of his family in South Yorkshire to witness his debut on Saturday afternoon, and he described his feelings after being told he had been given the nod for Saturday.

"I was a bit nervous but excited as well, I felt ready for it though - that's what I've been working towards for my whole career. I felt really prepared and ready.

"It has been a few tough years for me because I injured my back and I was out for a year, came back and then did something quite serious to me knee so I was out for another year with that so I haven't played many games in the last few years.

"I've got a lot of people to thank because they've put a lot of faith in me, the physios and medical department have been great with me.

"I really appreciate all the support I've been given by the club and everyone else.

"There were some dark days, but this makes it all worth it."

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