Another home fixture means another edition of The Royal, packed with loads of exclusive reading material which you won’t find anywhere else.
And that includes a feature interview with defender Michael Morrison, who has established himself in the heart of the Reading defence since making the move from Birmingham City this summer.
In The Long Read, Morrison discusses long journeys to training as an aspiring academy player, playing alongside Yann Kermorgant, some off-the-pitch business ventures and settling in at Reading.
Here is a snippet of the interview, in his own words:
Cambridge had just got relegated to the Conference, and from a personal point of view, it was probably the best thing that could have happened because a lot of players left - it was a blank canvas. The manager, Rob Newman came in and they could recruit everybody – they actually shut the Under-18s down and I got a pro contract, they kept me on and that got me into the first team – probably earlier than it would have been if they had stayed in the league.
It was probably a blessing in disguise like that, then when you’re 17 and playing in the Conference, as a centre-half as well, then there are always people who are going to go down and watch. I was lucky enough to get picked up and sign for Leicester City.
I’d actually gone on trial at Newcastle the summer before, when Glenn Roeder was the manager – he’d just got the job there, Nigel Pearson was working for his backroom staff and Steve Walsh too, who both went on to Leicester. I remember staying for a week and Glenn said he wanted me to stay for a few more days.
I ended up there for nearly two weeks at Newcastle and he pulled me into the office, I thought I was going to sign. He said, ‘You’ve done really well, I like what you’ve done, but I just don’t think you’re as good as Rio Ferdinand was when he was 17.’ I look back at it now, and I don’t think there were too many people who were!
There are other interviews to look forward to, too. Mark Roach brings us the first instalment of a three-parter with Steve Wood, while The Tilehurst End speak to one of our earliest Academy graduates Alex Haddow.
David Downs talks at length about Reading’s promotion party at Brentford in 2002, while there are also columns from our Women’s team, the Academy and a deeper look at Saturday’s visitors Blackburn Rovers.
Grab your copy – look our for our sellers around the ground and pick up The Royal for £3.