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Madejski Men, Part 8 | From Obita to Robinson

Plenty of homegrown talent in latest edition

4 July 2018

We're now in the eighth instalment of Madejski Men, with an inspirational captain, several Academy graduates and a certain Russian in profile this week...

Academy

Eight pre-season fixtures scheduled for U23s

3 July 2018

We're now just one month away from the start of the new Championship season, and we're coming towards the end of profiling each and every player to pull on the Reading shirt in a first team game in RG2.

(If you want to see all 245 Madejski Men profiled in full, just click here!)

Goalkeepers

Ben Roberts (3 Madejski Stadium appearances)

Just the solitary goalkeeper in our list this week, with Ben Roberts. While he only made three appearances in RG2, he held a 100% win ratio for those matches!

After a season spent with Luton, Roberts joined Reading on loan in January 2002 and went on to make six appearances for the club before returning back to parent club, Middlesbrough, at the end of February.

His debut in a Royals shirt came during our 3-0 win against Blackpool at Madejski Stadium, with the Royals on their way to promotion back to the second tier that campaign.

Defenders

Alex Pearce (115+2 Madejski Stadium appearances)

Having been with the Royals' Academy from the age of 12, centre-back Alex Pearce signed his first professional contract with the club in the summer of 2006.

Before securing a first team berth in RG2, Pearce cut his teeth in senior football on loan spells at Northampton, Bournemouth, Norwich City and Southampton.

After several years of honing his skills, arguably his crowning season came in the 2011/12 campaign. The Republic of Ireland international welded a solid partnership with Kaspars Gorkss to help the Royals win promotion back to the Premier League, picking up the supporters’ Player of the Season vote in the process.

That season he started 47 games and led the way to 17 clean sheets, also managing to chip in with a solid five goals from centre back.

Upon the expiry of his contract, Pearce made the move to Pride Park and Derby County - where he is likely to line up against the Royals once more in the coming season.

Jordan Obita (71+8 apps)
Curtis Osano (0+1 apps)
Reece Oxford (1+1 apps)
John Polston (12+2 apps)
Graham Potter (3 apps)
Linvoy Primus (36 apps)
Omar Richards (5+4 apps)
Matt Robinson (31+2 apps)

Midfielders

Phil Parkinson (77+4 Madejski Stadium appearances)

When Phil Parkinson arrived as a Royal in 1992, few could have imagined the impact he would have on the club as a player.

With 391 appearances over his 11-year tenure as a Royal, including the move from Elm Park to our current home, our former captain earned his reputation as an intelligent, tough midfielder with a consistent passion for his team and the shirt.

He became one of only two men to earn a testimonial at Madejski Stadium, and no fewer than 20,000 fans turned out to watch.

In a vote of the clubs best-ever line-up, 'Parky' won the centre midfield position with 60.3% of the vote. Despite leaving the club for Colchester in 2003, he is still beloved by many at the club, his name continues to ring out at Christmas time in a festive rendition of ‘12 Parkinsons’.

He made the move to the dugout after calling time on his playing career, a managerial tenure that includes a remarkable run to take the then-League Two side, Bradford City, to the final of the League Cup in 2013.

Parkinson is now manager at Bolton Wanderers, with the Royals and Trotters unfortunately locked in a battle against relegation towards the end of last season - with Bolton completing an incredible late comeback against Nottingham Forest on the final day to stave off the drop.

John Oster (22+26 apps)
Lucas Piazon (11+4 apps)
Adrian Popa (5+5 apps)
Stephen Quinn (20+3 apps)
Mark Reilly (2+2 apps)
Andy Rinomhota (2 apps)

Forwards

Pavel Pogrebnyak (43+11 Madejski Stadium appearances)

A well-loved figure during his time at the club, 'The Pog' joined the Royals upon the club's promotion to the Premier League back in 2012.

He opened his Royals account in his second game for the club, a fine header away at Chelsea to set the tone for a sterling season.

That season he scored a total of eight goals in blue and white hoops, with his most memorable Royals moment coming that year in a game against West Brom at Madejski Stadium.

Coming back from 2-0 down to level proceedings – the script had been written and in the 90th minute, Pav got on the end of a knock down from a free kick, sending the ball over the keeper from six yards out, ensuring Reading’s third win of the season and a dramatic ending to one of Madejski Stadium's most memorable matches.

Regrettably the Royals were consigned back to the Championship, Pog scoring 13 goals in an attempt for an immediate return to top flight football, unfortunately missing out on a top six finish to Brighton on the final day of the season.

Pogrebnyak’s final season in a Reading shirt ended with the forward having a hand in seven goals, including a brace against Charlton, before departing the club in the summer to sign for Russian Premier League side Dynamo Moscow on a three-year deal. 

Lloyd Owusu (14+10 apps)
Deniss Rakels (5+5 apps)
Grzegorz Rasiak (12+7 apps)
Neville Roach (1+3 apps)
Jason Roberts (13+1 apps)

 


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