To reach the Third Round of the Carabao Cup and earn a trip to Molineux tomorrow night, José Gomes' named a record eight Academy players in the starting eleven that secured a 4-2 victory at Home Park late last month.
The previous record for Academy players named on a first team teamsheet was 7; in August 2014, Nigel Adkins named seven Academy started in a 4-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest before doing the same a week later when 7 started and 6 more were on the bench for a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough.
For those interested, the seven Academy starters under Adkins at the Riverside were Alex Pearce, Jordan Obita, Michael Hector, Ryan Edwards, Jake Taylor, Aaron Kuhl and Simon Cox with Mikkel Andersen, Shane Long, Jake Cooper, Jack Stacey, Tariqe Fosu and Craig Tanner all on the bench that afternoon. And Adkins matched his record of 13 Academy players in a first team squad when we lost to Derby County in the League Cup a month later.
However, the eight starters at Home Park now hold our Academy's record; Obita captained Teddy Howe, Gabe Osho, Akinwale Odimayo, Andy Rinomhota, Michael Olise, Josh Barrett and Danny Loader.
Aged at 22 years, 357 days, it was the fourth youngest starting eleven fielded by the club since the turn of the century nearly two decades ago now!
We fielded slightly younger sides at the start of the 2009-10 campaign, when Brendan Rodgers hosted Nottingham Forest in a 0-0 draw at the Madejski before naming a similarly young eleven in the 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United a week later. And the youngest starting eleven in the last 20 years came a little after that in a goalless affair at Swansea City earned by a Reading eleven with an average age of 21 years and 351 days.
But these statistics makes the eleven that started at Plymouth in the Second Round this season, the youngest team to record a Royals first team victory since September 1983 - a Royals XI averaging at 22 years and 355 days winning 6-2 at home to Stockport County in Division Four nearly 36 years before the Plymouth triumph last month.
It is also worth remembering that our win over the Pilgrims also saw our Academy graduates total rise to 53 as Odimayo earned his debut in the 4-2 victory.
The young defender was presented with his shirt at Hogwood Park last week before embarking on a month-long loan move to Hungerford Town.
And last month proved a milestone-maker for the club's Academy in other ways too; when Tom McIntyre was introduced early on in our away win at Huddersfield last month, by our calculations, we believe it marked a major milestone in the club’s history - the 2,000th appearance by an Academy player at senior level for the Royals.
👕 Akinwale Odimayo presented with framed debut shirt with Ged and José in attendance— Reading FC Academy (@RFCAcademy) September 20, 2019
👏 Congratulations, AK!