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Alex McCarthy

Goalkeeper

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Biography

Date of birth

03/12/1989

Signed

01/07/2007

Country

England

A schoolboy at the time, McCarthy began his career at Wimbledon and Wycombe before joining the Royals on a scholarship aged 16.

His time in the Academy lasted just over two years, and he was part of a group that included several future first team players including Alex Pearce, Gylfi Sigurdsson and to-be club captain Jem Karacan.

He signed his first professional contract with the club in July 2008, but spent the near future on loan to several lower league clubs. Yeovil was the one that stood out, starting 44 times for the Glovers he kept 12 clean sheets during the 2009/10 season, such performances earning himself a new contract with the Royals that would keep him signed until 2013.

He returned to the club in September 2010 where he would break into the first team configuration as injury cover to Adam Federici. When the Aussie was ruled out for six weeks due to knee ligament damage sustained in February, McCarthy stepped up to the plate making 15 appearances – his first full debut coming in a 2-1 victory over Millwall at the Madejski.

In his next game he saved a penalty against Crystal Palace and also played a standout role in the clubs FA Cup run making crucial saves in a 1-0 conquest over Everton in the fifth round. With Federici’s return to fitness and first choice keeper, McCarthy spent his time the following season on loan to Leeds and Ipswich, gaining much needed first team Championship experience in order to challenge for the number one spot on his return.           

The 6’ 4” Academy graduate did just that, achieving the man-of-the-match award for his performances against QPR in November, making his case for starting over first choice Federici in the future, however a shoulder injury picked-up that game would lead to surgery and missing a painful five months of football.

Upon his return to the side against Liverpool in April, he produced another stellar performance that would lead to retaining his starting place for the remaining six games. He’s performances were labelled as being “absolutely staggering” by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, they even warranted  a call up to the England senior team, becoming the first Reading youth team graduate to gain an full England call-up since the Academy era began in 1998.

McCarthy left the Royals in the 2014 summer transfer window for an undisclosed fee, opting to join Premier League side QPR with ambitions to rival former England international Rob Green for the number one spot between the sticks, and obtain the status of being a Premier League Footballer. 

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