On a weekend when the Royals honour the success of its Academy, The Royal was able to speak to arguably its most well-known graduate - Gylfi Sigurðsson!
The Iceland star began his incredible career to date as a Royal, joining Eamonn Dolan's Academy ranks as a teenager, and has gone on to score 50 Premier League goals and score at a World Cup, among many other achievements.
Sigurðsson discusses Dolan's influence on him as a young player, his memories from his time as a Reading player, his pride in having a place on our new Academy Honours Board and much more in a wide-ranging eight-page interview - which you can read first in Saturday's programme.
Take a sneak peek below...
Arriving at Everton’s training facilities was an indicator of the Icelander’s career progression after graduating from the Royals’ youth ranks. A walk through Finch Farm sees England’s current number one goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford going through his paces before training, with a hive of activity as the Toffees prepare for this weekend’s Merseyside Derby against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Gylfi Sigurðsson, though, seems unfazed by it all. He strolls into the on-site café after a contractual photoshoot, with a relaxed demeanour that could make you forget he scored the winner in Everton’s clash against Cardiff last weekend.
But this is the company he now keeps. Having made a splash in the Championship with the Royals, he has since become one of the Premier League’s standout players – but he certainly hasn’t forgotten his roots as a professional. After explaining the context of our chat, Gylfi smiles, “It was quite a long time ago now!”
But as he revealed, his connection with the Royals is still strong to this day, having departed in 2010 after a five-year stint in RG2. Despite his faux-forgetfulness, he carried plenty of memories from his time as a young player making his way in the professional game for the first time...
Elsewhere in Saturday's issue, our continuing series of standout moments in RG2 to feature on our cover sees a man famous in both camps this weekend - Dave Kitson!
Your programme also features the lowdown on Saturday's opponents, Stoke City, hear from Paul Clement and Paul McShane in their pre-match notes and much more in your copy of The Royal this weekend - available for just £3 from our sellers all around Madejski Stadium!