The Royals have welcomed Nicky Shorey back to Madejski Stadium as our former left-back rejoins the Reading ranks to take up a Lead Scout (Professional Development Phase) role within our Academy recruitment structure.
Shorey first arrived in Reading as a 19-year-old, catching the eye of Alan Pardew during a brief trial spell from Leyton Orient in February 2001. Duly snapped up, he soon broke into the first team and helped the Royals win promotion to the second tier in his first full season.
An automatic name on the teamsheet under Pardew and then Steve Coppell, Nicky earned a reputation as a superb pass-maker, his reliable role on the left side of our defensive back line and for his cultured left foot which became renowned for its accuracy whether crossing into the box or aiming a set piece towards the top corner.
Having tasted promotion as a Royal already, Shorey played an inspirational part in our record-breaking title-winning team of 2005-06, earning Reading Football Club Premier League status for the first time in its history.
Chants of “Shorey for England” began to regularly ring out around Madejski Stadium and after impressing in the England B squad in a friendly against Albania, the Royals full back pulled on the Three Lions to make his England bow against Brazil, marking Kaka in the very first international fixture at the new Wembley Stadium. The £25,000 left back from Leyton Orient had become Reading’s first full international for more than a century.
Shorey returned to RG2 for a shorter second spell as a Royal in 2012 and remains our second highest Madejski Stadium appearance maker - behind only Graeme Murty in totting up 158 appearances the Madejski and amassing a huge 317 appearances in a Reading shirt.
Nicky is one of a number of former Royals players who are now back working at the heart of our club once more - fellow title-winner Mikele Leigertwood continues in his role as Professional Development Phase Coach, while Simod Cup hero Michael Gilkes is also based at Hogwood Park as Football Operations Manager.
We are also delighted to welcome Mehmet Ali to Reading Football Club - he joins us to take the position of Under-23s Assistant Coach and will work alongside Scott Marshall this season.
Mehmet enjoyed his first day out on the training pitch with our Under-23s yesterday having joined the club from Tottenham Hotspur, where he was Youth Development Phase Coach.
We would like to wish Nicky and Mehmet the very best of luck in their new roles with the Royals.