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Anssi set to stay and contracts offered to young blood

Club trigger option of a third year on Finnish international goalkeeper’s deal as professional contracts are delivered to Academy starlets

11 May 2018

6’3” Finnish international goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola will remain a Royal until the summer of 2019 after the club triggered an option of a third year on his deal at Madejski Stadium.

Jaakkola has largely played understudy to Ali Al Habsi and Vito Mannone during his two years at Madejski Stadium to date. However he has proven his undoubted ability when called upon to play in crucial games this season, recording three clean sheets and helping the team pick up points which proved crucial both at home and away to Bolton and against Leeds here at Madejski Stadium.

And Reading Football Club can confirm that new professional contracts have been offered to a number of young players who have been impressing at different levels within our Category One Academy or out on loan during the 2017-18 campaign.

Goalkeepers Luke Southwood and Lewis Ward have both been offered new deals at Reading after both spent the majority of 2017-18 earning first team experience at other clubs.

Luke Southwood, who was part of the England Under-20 World Cup-winning squad last summer, was jointly awarded the Reading Sports Personality of the Year accolade in March alongside fellow Royal and World Cup winning England international Danny Loader. And the 20-year-old stopper has been offered a new deal with the Royals after spending this season earning regular first team football between the posts with Bath City.

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Ward too has been impressing on loan, starring in Gary Waddock’s Aldershot side who finished their Vanarama National League campaign in fifth before cruelly bowing out of a play-off eliminator against Ebbsfleet on penalties. Ward, who turned 21 in March, was part of our first team’s pre-season camp in Holland and he has been offered a new deal with the Royals.

Attacking midfielder Moroyin Omolabi scored twice in seven starts for our Under-18s this season and he has accepted a professional contract with the club, while fellow second year scholars Cameron Green and Jazz Wallace will also put pen to paper on a pro deal for 2018-19.

England Under-17 international Jack Nolan scored against Germany for his country earlier this season and the first year scholar has accepted a professional contract at the club.

And offers have also been made to  Akinwale Odimayo, Jamal Balogun and Andre Burley – 18-year-old second year scholars who have all stepped up to feature for our Under-23s this season!


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