It’s every boy’s dream – to score for your hometown team. And Tom McIntyre is living that dream.
His maiden goal for the Royals’ senior team was in all the best circumstances – a vital goal in a 2-1 win over Luton Town, and he could hardly have made a better connection as he ghosted onto Sone Aluko’s corner to hammer in a volley.
“It’s something that I’ve looked forward to since I’ve been playing,” Tom said. “I’ve gone through it in my head so many times, so to finally do it is brilliant.
“I’ve come close before with headers from corners – but we practice in training. The gaffer and his staff are massive on set-pieces, and that shows from the amount of goals we’ve scored from them. So it’s about going out there and executing.
“It was all about the art of disguise – it was a great goal from Sone as well, so it was perfect.
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“I lost my head – I didn’t know what to do at all. You don’t know what you're going to do until it happens… it was as good as I imagined it.
“It’s another achievement that I’ve added to my collection – a milestone that I really wanted to achieve. To get my first goal was amazing.
“It would have been great to have had everyone in – that would have added to how special it was. But I’ll take it today! And hopefully when fans are back in and my family and friends are here, I can get another one.”
It took an endeavouring performance from every member of the team to earn the win – a couple of good goals and a thoroughly professional display, despite depleted numbers to the side through injury.
“When you come away with a victory in the Championship, it will always be a battle,” he continued. “So it was great to get a win with a few changes in the team – whoever is playing, you have to go out there and give your all.
“That’s the bear minimum and that’s what the manager talks about – and against Luton everyone did.
“I’ve been dying to get back out on the pitch. I’ve not played as many games as I’d like since the start of the season, but the team has been doing really well so I couldn’t be too disappointed by it. I was just happy that the team was winning at the end of the day.”
Our final game of 2020… a visit to Swansea City. A win in South Wales next time out would send us into the new year level on points with the Swans.
McIntyre continued: “It will be a different test to Luton. But, again, we feel like we’ve got enough and we’ll go confident into that game. We’ll be going in for nothing but a win.
“The manager and his staff are football nuts – they watch so many games and they’ll have done so much analysis on Swansea. So we’ll be really well prepared going into that game, no matter who’s playing.”