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5️⃣ Royal opening day debuts!

A look at players to make their Royal bow in recent years...

21 June 2018

The opening day is the first opportunity to see any new signings or surprise packages make their debut in the blue and white of Reading, and there have been plenty of players to start their Royals careers in the first game of the season!

2013-14: Danny Williams

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21 June 2018

In what was the start of a successful stay in RG2, Danny Williams made his debut for the Royals from the bench with the Royals working hard for a result against Ipswich Town.

Jay Tabb made 105 appearances for the Royals without finding the net, but stunned Madejski Stadium with 10 minutes on the clock as he forced Alex McCarthy into a smart save before slotting home the rebound with his weaker right foot.

The Royals drew level before the break through Adam Le Fondre, with Williams being introduced as the game was finely poised at 1-1.

It was a moment of quality from another Danny that sealed the points on the day, though, with Danny Guthrie striking from all of 30 yards to send Madejski Stadium into raptures and earn a 2-1 victory.

Williams went on to represent the Royals more than 150 times in all competitions, before moving to Huddersfield Town in the summer of 2017. 

2014-15: Simon Cox

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20 June 2018

Technically, a second debut!  After he came through the youth ranks with the Royals and made a smattering of first-team appearances, Reading-born striker Simon Cox left for pastures new as he looked to gain valuable first team experience.

Having had six years away, though, Cox returned in time for the start of the 2014-15 campaign! 

He was introduced on the hour mark with the Royals taking on Wigan. The youthful side had been good value for a 2-1 lead in the game, but a stoppage-time equaliser from James McArthur thwarted their efforts on the day, only coming away with one point.

Cox now plays for Southend United in League One, having played 50 times in his second spell as a Royal - scoring nine times in the process. 

2015-16: Aaron Tshibola

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20 June 2018

A product of our Academy, Aaron Tshibola was placed in the senior setup on the opening day of the 2015-16 campaign.

However, it just seemed to be one of those days where the Royals were destined to have fate play a cruel hand on the pitch. Not only did the Royals lose 2-1, Tshibola had actually scored a goal!

His driven effort from the edge of the box had been shown to cross the line after bouncing down off the crossbar, but the lack of goal-line technology meant the goal was not given by the match officials - who could only see it in a flash in real time.

Compounding that, though, Simon Cox was brought down in the box in injury time, and Orlando Sa had his penalty saved in the dying embers of the game!

Tshibola now plays for Aston Villa, and spent the second half of last season north of the border - on loan at Scottish Premiership side, Kilmarnock.   

2016-17: John Swift

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21 June 2018

Following a summer arrival from Chelsea, John Swift was brought out in a Reading shirt for the first time as the Royals took on Preston North End at the start of the 2016-17 campaign.

It was a debut that would typify his stint in the blue and white hoops to date - an industrious performance capped off with a fine finish to seal all three points, sweeping in from a Garath McCleary corner in the first half.

A 1-0 win on the opening day was a sign of things to come in 2016-17, with Swift in the heart of midfield and the catalyst of many a Reading attack.

Swift will be aiming for more progress in the upcoming campaign - having had his season heavily interrupted by injury last time around.

2017-18: Omar Richards

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21 June 2018

Last season's curtain raiser was a difficult afternoon in West London, with the Royals going down to 10 men and losing out 2-0 away at QPR. However, the 59th minute saw the introduction of young full-back, Omar Richards! 

He came off the bench to become the first of six players to graduate from the Academy and make their first team debut last term, and the 42nd player to do so overall!

That cameo proved to be the start of a breakthrough season for the combative, pacey left-back. He went on to make 11(+5) appearances in the first team fold last term, scoring his first Reading goal away at Nottingham Forest in February.

With a successful start to life as a senior footballer, Richards will be hoping to continue building up his experience during the season ahead!

Fixture List 2018/19

Fixture List 2018/19

Our full schedule for the forthcoming Sky Bet Championship campaign...

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