After a successful loan spell in Spain last season, 20-year-old playmaker Jordan Holsgrove has returned with fresh impetus to try to push into the manager’s first-team thoughts.
Having got that taste of regular competitive football with Atletico Baleares last term, he returned to training with a young group of players this week – and wants to do his utmost to earn Mark Bowen’s consideration for squad selections.
“Because I came back injured, I’ve not played football for about six months – so I’m absolutely gagging to get back to it!” Jordan said.
“And with the facilities here at Bearwood, it’s excellent. It’s awesome here so I can’t wait to complete pre-season.
“Now I’m trying to push, trying to get in the gaffer’s eye and see what I can do – and see if he likes me. I’ve trying as hard as I can and it’ll be down to him what he thinks.
“I’m confident that I want to push as much as I can. I want to by playing first-team football – whether it’s here or not. I’ll do my best to make sure that it is here. That is my ambition now – to get into Reading’s first team.”
It was certainly an eye-opener with the Mallorca-based side – Jordan was a key member of a side that sat at the top of the table when the enforced break came, but he had to meet all challenges head-on.
That included picking up the lingo and making that cultural shift – picking up some useful life-skills along the way.
“As soon as I managed to get into the side there, I started pretty much every game,” he continued. “I really enjoyed my experience over there, it was a great experience for me.
“I thought going out there, it might be quite a bit like tiki-taka, easy play… but it was a lot more physically demanding than I thought. A lot of winning second balls and doing the bits that I wasn’t used to doing, so it was a good learning curve for sure.
“It was difficult to begin with… I didn’t speak a word of Spanish when I went out there, and there weren’t a lot of players who spoke English!
“But I cracked on with it and now I speak a fair bit of the language as well. So it’s something I’ve added to my life, not just football. That was definitely a bonus.”