It’s been a rather special breakthrough year for Andy Rinomhota – from life as an Academy graduate making his league debut against Preston last September, to being named the Fans’ Player of the Season in May.
The midfield dynamo has almost done it all in his debut season in the first team. He’s the fifth Academy talent from Hogwood to earn the Player of the Season award - the perfect example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication alongside his talent.
Below, we timeline the impressive list of milestones that Rinomhota has achieved this season…
League debut v Preston North End, 15th September 2018
Having experienced first team football the previous season in the early rounds of the EFL Cup, Rinomhota was given a league debut away at Deepdale when he was introduced as a late second-half substitute against Preston.
Reading won the game 3-2 and for Andy, it was a taste of better things to come, with the building blocks in place for something even bigger.
First league start v Bristol City, 3rd November 2018
After the game against Preston, Rinomhota featured again from the substitutes bench against Millwall in October. Having tested the waters twice now, he was then entrusted with a first league start against Bristol City at Madejski Stadium on Bonfire Weekend.
The Academy youngster certainly impressed in his full league debut against the Robins, as he would go on to start the next 17 consecutive matches in league and cup.
Manchester United at Old Trafford, 5th January 2019
The Royals were drawn away against Premier League giants Manchester United in the Third Round of the FA Cup and Andy Rinomhota was given the nod to start in midfield in front of more than 70,000 fans at the Theatre of Dreams.
An experience that any young player would be extremely proud of, the Academy graduate got to fight it out against some of the world’s best on one of football’s biggest stages.
Penning a new deal, 25th February 2019
An early standout performer for the season, injury unfortunately tempered with his progress on the pitch in February. However, this didn’t stop off-field matters as Rinomhota penned a new deal with the club that would see him remain a Royal until 2022.
With a bright future on the horizon, focus quickly turned back to getting match ready for the season run-in and the fight for Championship football next season.
First senior goal v Norwich City, 10th April 2019
In his 23rd appearances of the season, Andy and his teammates travelled to Carrow Road to face a high-flying Norwich side that had tasted victory in their last eight games on the bounce.
With Daniel Farke’s side having completed a late turnaround after Yakou Méïté's stunning opener, 2-1 was the score in favour of the hosts. Then in the sixth minute of added time, Rinomhota received the ball on the edge of the area and thundered home to score his maiden senior goal in spectacular fashion and earn José Gomes’ men an unlikely point towards safety.
Voted as the Fans’ Player of the Season, 5th May 2019
The culmination to a remarkable breakthrough season, before our final game against Birmingham, Rinomhota was named in the top three for Player of the Season, alongside Yakou Meite and Andy Yiadom.
Having earned more than a quarter of the votes, Andy was crowned the winner and joined an illustrious group containing Gylfi Sigurðsson, Shane Long, Alex Pearce and Jordan Obita - as he became the fifth Academy graduate to win our Player of the Season prize.