News and Views
Will It Be A Royal Year For Ince As Lumley Settles In
29 June 2022
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Having avoided relegation almost by the skin of our teeth in the 2021/22 Championship campaign, the coming season is going to be a big year for both Reading and manager Paul Ince.
The 54-year-old former Manchester United and England midfielder has experienced mixed fortunes since turning to management after hanging up his boots, but having moved to the Madejski Stadium at the end of February, Ince will be determined to improve on his current record of only four wins in 14 games and our success in the transfer market will have a big impact on his ability to do that.
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For those who dive right in at this time of year, having already drafted in his son, Tom Ince, from Stoke City following his short loan spell with us, and Australian goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, Middlesbrough loanee Joe Lumley is another fresh face in the squad and Royals fans will be hoping Lumley is simply the first of many before the summer transfer window slams shut.
With pre season already underway ahead of the coming campaign, it seems like 27-year-old Lumley is already settling in well, and with a week under his belt at Bearwood he cannot wait for the season to begin properly.
"It has been very good, met all the players, met all the staff and settled in straight away. Obviously it has been a tough few days being the first days of pre-season but I have enjoyed it. You want to be back training, knowing where you’ll be playing on the first day of pre-season so hopefully I can please the manager, the new goalkeeper coach and I can’t wait for the season. Reading wanted me and being wanted is a big thing in football...and I didn’t want to mess about. The reason I came here was to play games and do the best for the manager and the fans."
With new goalkeeping coach Tony Warner now in place, Lumley is also looking forward to working more with the former Liverpool, Millwall and Fulham shot stopper. Although their paths have not crossed previously in the professional game, Lumley's 'best friend' worked with him during his brief spell at Bristol Rovers, so with glowing recommendations already, Lumley feels like he is in safe hands for the year ahead and who knows what the future holds, maybe it is a case of home is where the heart is for the stopper.
"I have been doing a lot of work with the new goalkeeper coach Tony Warner; my best friend worked with Tony at Bristol Rovers as his goalie coach, and they got on really well which is very good to know as I feel I’ll get along with him too. He is very big on being brave and being forward in every shot. Sometimes as a goalkeeper, you’ve got to fight your instincts and be on the front foot to save the shots, because those saves could win you the match. The coaches work you hard in pre-season, but they praise you when you need to be praised and give you a dig when you need a dig - and that is exactly how I think it should be! Even though it’s only been a few days, you can tell straight away the lads are working as hard as they can for the manager and his coaching staff and you can’t really ask for anything more."
For now, it is all eyes to the upcoming pre season warm up games and a tasty tie against Benfica, before we hit the big kick off in August where we welcome Cardiff City to home soil and hopefully Ince's first three points of the year.
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