“I knew before I arrived that this was a great Academy and a great football club – and so it’s proven to be," Roddy began, speaking to iFollow moments before heading across the pristine pitches at Hogwood Park to watch our Under-23s put five past Oxford United in a friendly fixture played in glorious sunshine.
“We’ve got a great group of coaches and staff here, so I’ve been lucky to inherit a lot of the work that Eamonn over the 10 years previously.
“Hopefully, I’m adding one or two things along the way to the environment to push us along a little bit.
"I think the fans can see the larder is full of fantastic young talent coming through the Academy and it’s been a pleasure to work with them all.
"But there’s work to do – there’s always work to do!"
With no first team fixture for a fortnight, the impression to some might be that the club winds down during an international break. It couldn't be further from the truth - those who haven't gone away with their countries are training hard in preparation for Millwall next weekend and a turning cog the size of the Academy keeps ticking over to make Hogwood Park a hive of activity, seven days a week!
“We’ve got players from the age of eight through to the first team that treat Hogwood as their home, so it’s a 24/7 job!
“And I think, if you’re going to be a part of the Academy, first and foremost you love it.
"We get compensated for all the hard work we put in in terms of the enjoyment we all get from working with young, talented players and seeing them grow through the club and develop as professionals.
“I knew Eamonn for 20 years before coming here, he was a personal friend. So, he gave me chapter and verse on what Reading was all about!
"Working at the Premier League, I had the pleasure of looking at all of the clubs and seeing what their strengths and weaknesses were. So I had a pretty good idea of some of the strengths of this club.
“So I felt like I knew a little bit about it before I arrived...but it’s only when you get inside the Academy and the club that you begin to realise what a special place it is.
“I’ve been welcomed by everyone at the club, it was very easy to settle in.
"But only since I’ve arrived have I really begun to understand how effectively we work and how as a club we punch way above our weight.
“We’ve got to continue doing that and make sure we’re competing with the best clubs in the country, so that we develop the best talent in the country.
“We have to do things differently at Reading. As an Academy, we are not going to spend like the big boys, but if we’re creative and work things effectively, we can certainly develop some of the best players."