News and Views

Royals Win In Bristol Rovers Friendly

22 July 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading were 2-0 winners at Bristol Rovers last night as the Royals began a series of pre-season friendlies back in England after their Thailand visit. Tariqe Fosu, who made his first impressions in the 3-0 win at Derby on the final day of last season, was involved in both goals. Unlike the performance at Derby, he was happy to create opportunities rather than attempt to score every time he got the ball - and looked better for it.

Reading took the lead in the first half when Fosu put the ball through for Dominic Samuel to score. In the second half Fosu was again provider when he crossed for Nick Blackman to add the second goal and secure the win. Al-Habsi was selected in goal for Reading, with Bond an unused substitute. Anton Ferdinand again started the match and was only replaced late on when Reading made a series of substitutions midway throug the second half. His appearances suggest he could play a proper part this season after missing nearly the entire of last season through various injuries.

As expected in a pre-season friendly, Reading were scrappy at times but looked better later in the second half when several substitutions saw the introduction of many first choice players including Gunter, Norwood, Blackman, and Pogrebnyak.

Starting Eleven: Al-Habsi, Long, Obita, Ferdinand, Keown, Akpan, Tshibola, Quinn, Taylor, Fosu, Samuel.
Second half substitutes used: Gunter, Griffin, Norwood, Blackman, Novakovich, Hyam, Pogrebnyak.

Meanwhile the Reading under 21 side played out a 1-1 friendly draw at Hungerford Town last night. The game was 0-0 at the break with neither keeper having much to do. The second half saw the home side take control of the game and take a deserved lead. The goal saw Reading come to life and they managed a few shots on target against a strong Hungerford Town defence, however the equaliser was very lucky for the Royals. A long kick out from the Reading keeper saw an own goal as the Crusaders defender headed over his own keeper who was off his line.

Karacan's Galatasaray Move Confirmed

09 July 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Jem Karacan has bid farewall to Reading FC as he completes his move to Turkish club Galatasaray. Karacan was offered a new contract by the club but turned it down in favour of a move to Turkey to further his career. Karacan has struggled with injury over the past two seasons but finally made his proper return in March, making eight appearances before the end of the season in what was to be his last spell at the Madejski as a Reading player.

Karacan had been a professional at Reading for eight years, working his way into the first team to eventually be named club captain. He had brief loan spells at Bournemouth and Millwall in the 2007/2008 season but spent the rest of his time at the club either as a regular in the starting line-up or battling against injury. Karacan's Reading record reads as 175 appearances and 12 goals. Reading were unable to match the contract offer made by Galatasaray, where Karacan could be earning up to one million Euros a season.

Karacan described his move to Galatasaray as a "dream move", and went on to talk fondly about his time at Reading in an official statement released by the club:

"I would like to thank everyone at Reading FC, especially the fans, for their support over the past eleven years. The last two seasons have been the most frustrating of my career and you have stuck by me and for that I will be forever grateful. I moved to Reading when I was 16 and it has been home ever since. I never thought that one day I would get to captain the club and to be given that honour at the start of last season by Nigel Adkins was a massive honour for me."

Fran Kirby Makes Record Transfer to Chelsea Ladies

09 July 2015
By Alex Bower

Following her impressive performance at the Women's World Cup in Canada, Fran Kirby has signed for Chelsea Ladies for a British record transfer fee. The transfer marks the end of Kirby's extended time with Reading, having been at the club since the age of 8.

With the majority of players at Chelsea being full-time professionals, as well as being in the WSL1, FA Cup Final and having Champions League football, it is clear why Kirby has chosen to agree terms with the club. It is also clear why the club would want Kirby on their books.

The 22-year-old striker has earned her move with years of consistently high numbers of goals for Reading. This season, Kirby was Reading's top goalscorer to date, having scored eleven goals in five appearances. Kirby also finished as the league's top goalscorer last season, with twenty-nine goals in twenty-two appearances. This performance earned her the WSL 2 Players' Player of the Year award. Internationally, Kirby has also found the net three times in thirteen appearances.

All the money received by the club will go towards the further progression of the Reading Women's team. It is a testament to the setup at the club that they have aided her progression thus far and helped her to this exciting point in her career.

Kirby will now be helping Chelsea in their journey to winning the WSL 1, starting this Sunday when they play against Bristol Academy. Chelsea currently sit on the top of the table, two points ahead of their London rivals Arsenal. Liverpool Ladies have won the WSL 1 for the past two seasons, so there will be an even greater incentive for Kirby and her teammates to make sure a new team wins this year.

Reading FC Women, meanwhile, go into their next game in the WSL 2 against Durham on Saturday having been unbeaten in their last five matches. The Royals have won their last four matches without Kirby, scoring thirteen goals in the process, so hopes are high that the side will be able to continue their run and ultimately succeed in their aim of promotion into the WSL 1. Reading will meet Chelsea later this month in the Continental Cup, but an agreement between the clubs means that Kirby is not eligible to play.

While it is sad to hear that Kirby's time at Reading has come to an end, I'm sure everyone involved with the club will want to wish her the best of luck as she continues to progress in the sport. Despite her departure, Reading are still in a strong position to get promotion into the WSL 1 and will be keen to extend their impressive run to date.

NEXT GAME: Reading FC Women v Durham- Saturday 11th July. Kick-Off 6pm at Farnborough FC.

Ferdinand And Al-Habsi Start In Thailand Friendly

08 July 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading began their pre-season campaign with a 2-2 draw in Thailand against a Thai Premier League XI side this afternoon. The match took place at a hot and humid Thailand national stadium in front of a decent sized crowd. The game saw trialist, and potential signing, Ali Al-Habsi begin in goal and play half of the match before being swapped with confirmed new signing Jonathan Bond. Both goalkeepers conceded a goal each as the home side came from a goal down to take the lead, before the Royals leveled to make it 2-2 at full time.

The big news was the appearance of Anton Ferdinand who broke his Reading record by playing 59 minutes of the match before being replaced. Ferdinand left the pitch without injury to give Reading real hope that he could actually play a real part in the new season. Reading made a full set of substitutions, replacing the entire starting eleven across the match to give nearly everyone a run out. Although new striker Orlando Sa is on tour with the squad he was not judged to be match fit and missed out.

Stephen Quinn and Paul McShane who have both recently arrived from relegated Hull City made their first appearances, both coming off the bench on 74 minutes.

Tariqe Fosu, who has recently extended his contract with Reading FC, was the provider for the first goal. His cross was scored by Nick Blackman with 35 minutes on the clock. The Thailand side equalised just before half time from a free-kick, and then took the lead ten minutes into the second half. Pavel Pogrebnyak replaced Blackman with 16 minutes to play and got into the action with Reading's second goal when he scored from Dominic Samuel's cross.

Starting Eleven:

  • Al-Habsi
  • Gunter
  • Obita
  • Ferdinand
  • Keown
  • Tshibola
  • Norwood
  • Williams
  • Taylor
  • Fosu
  • Blackman

Used Substitutes

  • Bond
  • Owusu
  • Griffin
  • Long
  • McShane
  • Quinn
  • Kuhl
  • Novakovich
  • Akpan
  • Kelly
  • Samuel
  • Pogrebnyak