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"I've learned a lot and I'm looking forward" - Ward

Youngster hoping to build on experience after signing new Royals deal

23 June 2018

Lewis Ward says he is hoping to keep building up his first team experience as a player, having signed a new two-year deal with the Royals.

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The goalkeeper, 21, spent the second half of last season on loan at Aldershot Town, and helped them into the National League play-offs in an impressive loan stint.

Ward is pragmatic about the season ahead, as he hopes to continue playing regularly - to eventually try and challenge for the #1 shirt with the Royals.

The local shot-stopper has been on the books at Reading since he was 9, and doubled up his playing duties to recently graduate with a 2:1 in a Sports Journalism degree from Staffordshire University.

On his new contract, he said: "I'm really happy with it - I'm looking forward to pre-season next week!

"I signed when I was 9, had a Season Ticket here until I was 17, so it was quite a simple decision to stay here, really."

His campaign at Aldershot ended in cruel fashion - with defeat in a penalty shootout stopping the Shots from making it to Wembley for the play-off final, despite Ward saving three penalties!

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On his experience of senior football, Ward continued: "It didn't end how I wanted it with the penalties, but it was a good experience. I learned a lot, played a lot of games, there were a couple of TV games in there and I'm looking forward to bringing that back to Reading now.

"The crowds were the big change for me, the pace of the game was very different, playing with players whose jobs are on the line. 

"The expectancy to win games and get points was there, making sure you stay at the right end of the table is the main focus.

"I went in as cover while their goalie was injured, luckily I managed to keep my place so after that, I managed to stay in for the rest of the season.

"First team football is obviously the dream, one day to pull on the Reading shirt would be ideal but I've got to wait for that time and build up to it. Hopefully it shouldn't be too long."

Fixture List 2018/19

Fixture List 2018/19

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

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