Guide To The Reading FC Team

Reading FC Squad Guide - 2000/2001 Season

Phil Whitehead
Squad number   1
Position Goalkeeper
Signed from West Brom, October 1999, £250,000
Previous clubs   Halifax, Barnsley, Scunthorpe (Loan), Bradford (Loan), Oxford, West Brom
More info Whitehead was a popular keeper at West Brom and lost his place in the first team when a new keeper was signed. His luck at Reading didn't last long after picking up a long term injury and losing his place in the first team to Scott Howie. Howie picked up his form and forced Whitehead out until the end of the 1999-2000 season when Phil was given a chance back in the side. Whitehead and Howie could have quite a battle between them for the place, but it's Whitehead that seems most likely to win.

John Polston
Squad number   2
Position Defender
Signed from Norwich City, May 1998, Free
Previous clubs   Tottenham, Norwich
More info Polston is on the point of retiring from playing after picking up injury after injury after signing for Reading from Norwich in 1998. He hasn't managed to keep up a regular run in the side and it seems unlikely he has many playing days left.

Matt Robinson
Squad number   3
Position Defender
Signed from Portsmouth, January 2000, £150,000
Previous clubs   Southampton, Portsmouth
More info Matt Robinson arrived at the same time the "Royal Revival" began last season. Martin "Mad Dog" Allen recommended we get Robinson in after working with him at Portsmouth, and after he signed we seen to win, win, and win some more. Quality full back who looks set to stay a popular first team regular.

Keith Jones
Squad number   4
Position Midfielder
Signed from Charlton, July 2000, Free
Previous clubs   Chelsea, Brentford, Southend, Colchester (Loan), Charlton
More info Although getting well on in the second half of his playing career Jones has still been a very valuable player for Charlton and has loads and loads of experience - with over 450 league games on his record. A hard tackling midfielder, he looks set to fill straight in Grant's (who left for Bournemouth) place.

Ade Viveash
Squad number   5
Position Defender
Signed from Walsall, July 2000, Free
Previous clubs   Swindon, Reading (Loan), Barnsley (Loan), Walsall
More info Viveash seemed to set to eventually sign for the Royals after spending two loan periods at Reading in 1993 and 1995. Viveash made over 200 appearances for Walsall after signing for them from Swindon.

Barry Hunter
Squad number   6
Position Defender
Signed from Wrexham, July 1996, £400,000
Previous clubs   Crusaders, Wrexham, Southend (Loan while at Reading)
More info Barry Hunter had a nightmare start to the 1999-2000 season after returning from a massive two year lay-off through injury. He was only given a one year contract and really had to prove himself - instead he made loads of mistakes and it seemed his days were numbered. He promptly added to his troubles by getting done for drink-driving and lost his club captaincy. And then he really got his act together and put in a string of superb performances in the centre of defence to more than earn his place back in the first team - and an extended contract offer from Allen Pardew. Could be a vital player again.

Graeme Murty
Squad number   7
Position Defender/Midfielder
Signed from York, July 1998, £700,000
Previous clubs   York
More info Murty was signed for a huge wad of dosh from York as a pacey winger. Once again though Burns had signed a player suffering from injury, and it was ages before we got a chance to see the mystery man of Reading FC. When we did see him we weren't disappointed by the size of his sideburns. And when we saw him leg to down the wing there was even more to get excited about. Murty got injured again and then returned as a full back / wing back, where he still continues to play. Great going forward, but sometimes shakey at the back.

Darren Caskey
Squad number   8
Position Midfielder
Signed from Tottenham, February 1996, £700,000
Previous clubs   Tottenham, Watford (Loan)
More info Last season's (1999-2000) player of the year. Caskey already has a fair bit of Premiership experience after his four year spell at Spurs where he started at a trainee in 1992. He'll definately return to the Premiership soon (hopefully with the Royals). Some people love to get on his back, but others will argue that he's just too good for Division Two - or Division One for that matter. There's no doubt that Caskey is one of the best players in the side. On his day his diagonal passes across the pitch win us games. Sometimes the passes go astray - but it could be argued his team mates aren't getting into the right place at the right time. And we haven't mentioned all those goals - Caskey was last season's top scorer for the Royals. Quality player with a massive future.

Martin Butler
Squad number   9
Position Striker
Signed from Cambridge, February 2000, £750,000
Previous clubs   Walsall, Cambridge
More info Martin scored four goals for the Royals last season (1999-2000) after signing from Cambridge in February when he was the Division's leading goalscorer. However, he made up for the lack of goals by setting up plenty and starting off a potentially lethal combination up front with Nicky Forster. Should start sticking in loads for the Royals.

Nicky Forster
Squad number   10
Position Striker
Signed from Birmingham City, June 1999, £650,000
Previous clubs   Hythe, Gillingham, Brentford, Birmingham
More info Brilliant player worth every penny of the 650,000 quid. Not only a natural goal-scorer but a really talented player who loves to go on his own little runs past players. Great at winning the ball and great at keeping it. There's nothing like watching Forster cut in from the wing. Signs are that he's just going to get better and better. Unfortunately with such a promising future ahead of him Forster was ruled out for the entire 2000/2001 season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in his right knee during a pre-season game against Charlton at the Madejski Stadium.

Lee Hodges
Squad number   11
Position Midfielder/Forward
Signed from Barnet, August 1997, £250,000
Previous clubs   Tottenham, Plymouth (Loan), Wycombe (Loan), Barnet
More info Hodges is another player who suffered from injury during the 1999-2000 season, but had a good few games after returning to the action. Capable of putting over some good crosses which is always useful with a player like Butler in the middle.

Jamie Cureton
Squad number   12
Position Striker
Signed from Bristol Rovers, 21 August 2000, £250,000
Previous clubs   Norwich, Bournemouth (Loan), Bristol Rovers
More info Reading signed the highly rated striker Jamie Cureton from Bristol Rovers just into the 2000/2001 season in a bargain 250,000 deal. The clubs agreed the fee after Cureton had expressed a interest in moving after failing to pledge his future to the West Country club. After an unhappy close season spell Cureton was keen to move on and saw Reading as a perfect opportunity to further his career. With Nicky Forster out all season the news could not have been better for Reading fans who will remember Cureton as the player who hit four past Reading in January 1999 at the Madejski Stadium when Bristol Rovers won 0-6. Cureton, born in Bristol, had a fantastic strike rate for Rovers after signing for 200,000 quid in October 1996 from Norwich City - and was expected to have a far larger price tag. In 200 games for Rovers, Cureton hit 78 goals.

Keith Scott
Squad number   13
Position Striker
Signed from Wycombe, March 1999, £250,000
Previous clubs   Leicester City, Lincoln City, Wycombe, Swindon, Stoke City, Norwich, Bournemouth (Loan), Watford (Loan), Wycombe
More info Keith Scott seems to have played for every club in the lower divisions. A traditional big centre forward who can create loads of problems for defences just because he's so big and awkward. Reading fans weren't too impressed with the idea of signing him from Wycombe - especially when the club covered up the transfer fee. The word donkey seem to be used more than a bit. However he soon shut up a lot of the critics with a couple of great games, and goals, shortly after signing. Since then though he's faded out again and is starting to look a bit slow and old. Rumour has it we tried to sell him back to Wycombe but they wouldn't have him. Great bloke who is probably going in the direction of a coaching career now.

Sammy Igoe
Squad number   14
Position Midfielder
Signed from Portsmouth, March 2000, £100,000
Previous clubs   Portsmouth
More info Sammy made over 100 league appearances for Portmouth after joining as a trainee in 1994. Martin Allen tipped off Pardew and Reading picked him up for a potentially bargain sum of £100,000. Sammy hasn't had a real run in the first team yet with just a handful of games during last season (1999-2000) for the Royals. Expected to be a regular this season - if only when coming on from the bench.

Sean Evers
Squad number   15
Position Midfielder
Signed from Luton Town, March 1999, £500,000
Previous clubs   Luton
More info Evers got brilliant reports about his performances for Luton - but he's yet to show why after failing to look worth the half a million quid we paid. He's definately not a bad player - but there must be more to come. If he doesn't start looking a bit more special he'll find it hard to sustain a place in the team.

Phil Parkinson
Squad number   16
Position Midfielder
Signed from Bury, July 1992, £37,500
Previous clubs   Southampton, Bury
More info Player of the season during both the 1997-98 and 1998-99 season's - but not looking quite so good after a long period injured during the 1999-2000 season. Parky is Reading FC through and through and bleeds blue and white hooped blood for the club he loves. Parky is always tackling hard, chasing every ball, and has been a perfect club captain. Parky is one of the longest serving player's left at the club - and we all hope he's still got enough left in him for a few more successful seasons.

Neil Smith
Squad number   17
Position Midfielder
Signed from Fulham, August 1999, £100,000
Previous clubs   Tottenham, Gillingham, Fulham
More info Neil Smith played nearly 250 games for Gillingham before a two season spell at Fulham. He's definately not in the same league as Darren Caskey, but he's still good at winning the ball and laying it off. A decent enough player for Division Two.

Andy Gurney
Squad number   18
Position Defender
Signed from Torquay, January 1999, £100,000
Previous clubs   Bristol Rovers, Torquay
More info Gurney has had some great games for Reading - but he's also had some very average ones. Gurney's a full back but sometimes lacks the pace to catch up with his man. Against an average Division Two winger Gurney does the job and does it well, however against a decent player all his weaknesses are displayed as they seem to beat him every time.

Jimmy Crawford
Squad number   19
Position Midfielder
Signed from Dundee United, March 1998, £50,000
Previous clubs   Dublin, Newcastle, Rotherham, Dundee United
More info A Tommy Burns signing with seemingly no future at the club. He was another one of those signed on transfer deadline in March 1998 as Burns attempted unsuccessfully to save Reading from relegation to Division Two. Since the arrival of Alan Pardew Crawford hasn't had a look in and doesn't look likely to get one. He'll be keen to move on in order to kick start his football career.

Chris Casper
Squad number   20
Position Defender
Signed from Man Utd, November 1998, £300,000
Previous clubs   Manchester United, Bournemouth (Loan), Swindon (Loan)
More info Chris Casper looked to be a player in a million when he arrived on loan from Manchester United in September 1998. In his months loan spell he impressed with every kick off the ball - a superb tackler who won everything played towards the centre of defence and then did something with it. Premiership quality in a very young player. In a poll during October 1998 on Hob Nob Anyone?, 98% of voters said they wanted Reading to sign Casper - and everyone was overjoyed when he signed for a bargain 300,000 quid in November of that year. Casper continued to look brilliant in a five man defence but started to lose his initial shine by making more than a few mistakes in a four man defence. He went through a long period out of form in 1999, and just when he was starting to regain his confidence he broke his leg leaving him side-lined long term. He'll still be a great asset to the club when he fully recovers.

Scott Howie
Squad number   21
Position Goalkeeper
Signed from Motherwell, March 1998, £30,000
Previous clubs   Ferguslie, Clyde, Norwich, Motherwell, Coventry (Loan)
More info Scott Howie is definately a talented keeper, and a superb shot stopper. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to have a full set of skills yet - his kicking is all over the place, he's weak on crosses, and is liable to making the odd fatal mistake. But Howie always tries his best and is determined to succeed. He's also good to recover from set-backs. It's no suprise that Scott Howie was voted biggest improvement of the season during both 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons. He is improving all the time. Last season he lost his place to Whitehead after a series of poor performances led to him being substituted at half time away at Wycombe. When Whitehead then got injured Howie was back - and put in a series of superb performances to bounce back in style. He'll fight hard to become the number one keeper at Reading.

Jim McIntyre
Squad number   22
Position Striker
Signed from Kilmarnock, March 1998, £440,000
Previous clubs   Bristol City, Exeter (Loan), Airdrieonians, Kilmarnock
More info Reading fans just can't decide what to think of Jim McIntyre. One moment he's as popular as anything, the next minute he's subject of massive abuse from his own fans and then the same again. He's probably unpopular because he was signed by Burns for a lot of money which he's probably not worth. It wasn't made much better when a few weeks after signing he declared that he wasn't very good at scoring goals. But to Jim's credit he's well capable of causing a bit of trouble up front and good at supplying the ball to his striking partner. Not likely to get a look in if Butler and Forster don't get injured.

John Mackie
Squad number   23
Position Defender
Signed from Sutton United, October 1999, Free
Previous clubs   Crawley Town, Sutton United
More info At time of writing John is a mystery player who signed for Reading in October 1999 and then promptly returned to Sutton United on loan as if nothing had happened. After picking up an injury we're yet to see what he's capable of doing on the pitch.

Darius Henderson
Squad number   24
Position Striker
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   -
More info A big striker who had a few games towards the end of the 1999-2000 season, but failed to make much of an impression after looking a bit slow. Plenty of time for him to get a bit of experience behind him though and sharpen up his game.

Ricky Newman
Squad number   25
Position Midfielder
Signed from Millwall, 27 July 2000, Free
Previous clubs   Crystal Palace, Maidstone (Loan), Millwall, Reading (Loan)
More info Newman had always been expected to sign after ending last season on loan to the Royals. Millwall paid 500,000 quid for the midfielder in July 1995 when they signed him from Crystal Palace, and he went on to make 150 league appearances for Millwall. Newman made seven appearances for Reading while on loan at the end of last season, scoring one goal.

Stuart Gray
Squad number   26
Position Defender
Signed from Celtic, March 1998, £100,000
Previous clubs   Giffnock North, Celtic, Morton (Loan)
More info Stuart Gray was signed from Celtic by Tommy Burns for the standard Burns price of 100,000 quid. There's been plenty of times when he's looked worth more than that with a solid run as a full back in the first team last season. However Gray always looks scared coming forward for some reason, and just hasn't got enough to put him above players like Murty or Robinson.

Nathan Tyson
Squad number   27
Position Striker
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   -
More info Tyson made one substiture appearance last season and looks to be a nippy young player who could run rings round Division Two defenders. Tyson banged in plenty of goals for the youth side and looks certain to make an impression.

Chris Smith
Squad number   28
Position  
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   -
More info Player who has graduated from the Royals academy to become a squad member. Yet to break into the first team.

Adie Williams
Squad number  

29

Position Defender
Signed from Wolves, July 2000, Free
Previous clubs   Reading, Wolves
More info Popular central defender who'll fit in again perfectly in a side modeled on passion and the will to win. Adie is 100% a Reading player after spending most of his career with the Royals after originally signing for Reading way back in 1989 as a trainee. Williams spent seven years at Reading as a regular first team player before moving to Wolves to follow McGhee for 750,000 quid in 1996. After failing to get the success at Wolves that he previously enjoyed at Reading - mainly due to injury - Adie came back to the Royals on loan in February 2000 and stayed until the end of the season. With his contract up at Wolves, and Reading fans desperate for his return, he was more than happy to return to Reading in the summer of 2000. Adie keeps the number 29 shirt at his request following his successful loan spell when he wore that number in the hoops.

Alex Haddow
Squad number   30
Position
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   -
More info Player who has graduated from the Royals academy to become a squad member. Yet to break into the first team.

Jamie Ashdown
Squad number   31
Position  
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   -
More info Player who has graduated from the Royals academy to become a squad member. Yet to break into the first team.

Ricky Allaway
Squad number   32
Position  
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   -
More info Player who has graduated from the Royals academy to become a squad member. Yet to break into the first team. Ricky has been under plenty of media attention after his brother Shaun signed for Leeds in 2000 in a big money deal. Ricky is rumoured to be set to follow the same path and move to a Premiership side - most likely Leeds.

Adam Lockwood
Squad number   33
Position  
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   -
More info Player who has graduated from the Royals academy to become a squad member. Yet to break into the first team.

Tony Rougier
Squad number   37
Position Forward
Signed from Port Vale, 11 August 2000, £325,000
Previous clubs   Raith, Hibernian, Port Vale
More info Rougier was signed at the start of the 2000/2001 season as replacement for Nicky Forster who was ruled out for the whole season due to a knee injury sustained in a pre-season friendly against Charlton. Rougier, who made his debut against Millwall on the first day of the 2000/20001 season, had scored 21 goals from 169 senior appearances before joining the Royals.

 


Team Management

Alan Pardew
Position Team Manager
Previous clubs   As a player: Yeovil, Crystal Palace, Charlton, Tottenham, Barnet
As a manager: None
More info Alan Pardew became Reading FC manager on 13 October 1999, replacing Tommy Burns. Pardew had also been Reading manager before - as caretaker manager in March 1998 when Bullivant was booted out. Pardew managed one game as caretaker manager, a defeat, before Burns arrived. Pardew, who's previous management experience had been managing the Reading reserve side, has already put together a better record for himself than either Bullivant or Burns could manage in their short stays in charge.

Martin Allen
Position Assistant Manager
Previous clubs   As a player: QPR, West Ham, Portsmouth
As a manager: None
More info Martin Allen - known as "Mad Dog" arrived at the beginning of 2000 after coaching at Portsmouth, and has played a massive part in turning the fortunes of Reading Football Club around. Working closely with Pardew we've made some sensible signings and are playing like a side capable of getting out of Division Two. Martin Allen is a complete nutter, make no mistake - winning is the only option, whatever it takes. As a player he'd always be the most determined player on the pitch - West Ham paid £670,000 quid for Allen's will to win way back in 1989. Allen, born in Reading, has always been a Reading fan and expects every player to share his love of the club.


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