Reading Football Club News: July 2022

Guinness-Walker Gets One Year Deal

29 July 2022
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading have signed left back Nesta Guinness-Walker on a one year contract. The player joins on a free transfer after he left AFC Wimbledon in the summer. Twenty two year old Guinness-Walker began his football in non-league before a move to AFC Wimbledon in May 2019. He went on to make nearly 100 appearances for the Dons, scoring three league goals in three seasons at the club. All his professional football has been in League One as he now prepares to move up to the Championship with the Royals.

Incoming players this summer:

  • Tom Ince
  • Shane Long
  • Sam Hutchinson
  • Dean Bouzanis
  • Nesta Guinness-Walker
  • Jeff Hendrick (loan from Newcastle United)
  • Joe Lumley (loan from Middlesbrough)
  • Tyrese Fornah (loan from Nottingham Forest)
  • Plough Lane Trip For Royals

    19 July 2022
    By Hob Nob Anyone?

    Reading are off to AFC Wimbledon this evening for a pre-season friendly against the League Two side, who were relegated from League One last season. The friendly will give Reading fans an opportunity to visit the new Plough Lane ground, with the match kicking off at 7:45pm. It looks set to be another very hot night, which may make playing, and travelling, conditions difficult. Tickets are still on sale and are £15 for adults and £6 for concessions. The Royals are likely to take the majority of the first team squad to the game to give all of those in contention for a place a run out ahead of the new season.

    Reading finish their pre-season fixtures with the visit of Brighton to the Select Car Leasing Stadium this Saturday afternoon. The following weekend the new Championship season gets underway with a much earlier start than normal as Reading visit Blackpool on Saturday 30 July.

    Reading Get Home Draw In West Ham Friendly

    17 July 2022
    By Hob Nob Anyone?

    Reading secured a surprise home draw against Premier League West Ham United on Saturday as the game finished 1-1 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium. The game looked a very tough test with West Ham bringing along their first team to give the Royals a real challenge. Despite the departures over the summer and Reading's much changed squad, the Royals looked decent in the warm up fixture for the new season.

    The visitors took the lead after half time, but Reading pulled level on 68 minutes with a lovely team move down the left. Following a series of passes, McIntyre provided the cross for Yakou Meite to finish. Meite looked like he had put Reading ahead but was ruled narrowly off-side after finishing through the keepers legs. The game saw Reading field twenty different players, including a couple of trailists. Shane Long came off the bench to replace Joao with 63 minutes on the clock to a warm reception from the home supporters. Lumley played the full 90 minutes in goal with Bouzanis remaining on the bench.

    A Royal Return Had Long Been Rumoured

    15 July 2022
    By Hob Nob Anyone?

    It has been another couple of busy days for fans of Reading as preparations continue for the coming 2022/23 Championship season, and hot on the heels of the announcement of the loan arrival of Republic of Ireland international and Newcastle United midfielder Jeff Hendrick, Wednesday evening saw the long awaited (and much speculated) return of fellow Eire star Shane Long.

    The now 35-year-old striker left the Madejski Stadium eleven years ago in a £6.5 million deal with West Bromwich Albion, and since then he's moved on to Hull City and Southampton paid a whopping £12 million for him in August 2014. After almost a decade on the south coast, Long spent the second half of last season out on loan with Bournemouth and he returns to us this week as a free agent.

    His energy and work ethic has never been in doubt, but he has not replicated his goalscoring exploits with us (120 starts seeing a return of 54 goals) in any of his spells at other clubs as he returns to us all these years later with a now career total of 119 to his name. His former slot games in front of a net should not be expected on his return.

    The gamble 17 years ago with Long and Kevin Doyle's joint captures was not too shabby a piece of business by the club and it is expected that he will join up with his new teammates for the first time today as he arrives at Bearwood Park for the first time since signing the 12 month contract that gives him a second spell with us.

    The club are clearly pretty pleased with this piece of business and Mark Bowen, Head of Football Operations said at his unveiling.

    "When he first arrived at this club, very few fans will have known anything about Shane Long. But now, he needs absolutely no introduction to Royals supporters. A return to the club where it all began for Shane has been rumoured for a number of years, so I am delighted to have made that rumour a reality."

    Manager Paul Ince took a different approach and insisted that whilst there was the obvious fairytale aspect for the fans, Long had been brought in based on what he could still bring to the club on the football pitch.

    "The arrival of Shane is something of a football fairytale for Reading fans. But make no mistake about it – he is coming into the dressing room purely on the merits of what he can offer this squad out on the pitch. Experience, energy, leadership, desire and a natural instinct you need to score goals. Shane will be an important addition to the group we are patiently trying to build and grow."

    Long's overall history at the club needs no explaining and although he never quite replicated his goalscoring touch with us at other clubs, he also returns now boasting the fastest every goal scored in Premier League history - in a meeting between Southampton and Watford at Vicarage Road back in 2019, the Irishman found the net after only 7.69 seconds.

    Few will expect him to replicate that in his second spell with us, but plenty will be backing him to have a positive impact.

    Long Return Finally Confirmed

    13 July 2022
    By Hob Nob Anyone?

    The rumour that has been running for years has finally been confirmed, as free agent Shane Long has returned to Reading FC to sign a one year contract. The rumour gathered pace over the last month after it was confirmed that Southampton would not be renewing his contract, with rumours virtually every day that the deal was done. However, finally the rumour is definitely true with the club revealing Long back in Reading colours with pictures at the Oracle and the training ground. It's fair to say that the career of Reading's former player of the season, who spent some epic years at Reading, has been tailing off in recent seasons but there's plenty of reason to expect he will have plenty to offer in the Championship.

    Shane Long signed for Reading originally back in 2005, a massive 17 years ago now, as an unknown player from Cork City. His first goal for the club came on New Years Eve in only his second appearance, coming off the bench with twenty minutes to play to grab the equaliser with just two minutes left on the clock. The first Reading goal of that game was scored by Kevin Doyle. Long went on to score 4 goals that season in limited opportunities mostly from the bench, including two goals off the bench in our 5-0 demolition of Derby. The next season with Reading in the Premier League, Long found himself frequently off the bench to replace either Leroy Lita or Kevin Doyle until he started to earn a place in the starting eleven later in the season. With 4 goals that season and 3 in the following 2007/2008 season in the Premier League, Long was recognised as a hugely creative force up front as a supplier rather than scorer.

    That pattern continued until the 2010/2011 season when Long made a huge breakthrough, smashing in a massive 28 goals over the season as Reading finished the season with play-off final defeat. His incredible form earned him player of the season and a 6.5 million pound move to West Bromwich Albion to return to Premier League Football. Regular goals for club and country kept coming, which led to a 7 million pound move to Hull City in January 2014, and then just seven months later a 10 million pound transfer to Southampton. Long continued to make a big contribution for the Saints until, after seven years at the club, gradually dropping out of favour and getting less match time. Most of his appearances for Southampton were off the bench, especially in the last few seasons. Even with limited opportunities Long left Southampton with 37 further career goals.

    Welcome back Shane!

    Hendrick Follows Fornah To Sign On Loan

    12 July 2022
    By Hob Nob Anyone?

    Reading continue to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season despite limitations on incoming transfers due to our financial situation. Mangager Paul Ince has been forced to look at free agents and loan signings only, but has seen deals completed for both Jeff Hendrick and Tyrese Fornah.

    Thirty year old midfielder Jeff Hendrick arrives at Reading on loan from Newcastle United. Last season he was out on loan at QPR but failed to make an impression at the club, making eleven appearances, including 7 league starts and 4 off the bench. His last appearance at QPR was at the start of April when he was replaced after 68 minutes in a 1-0 away defeat at Sheffield United. The first half of the season he picked up three Premier League apparances, and scored away at Wolves but spent more time playing in International fixtures for Ireland. Hendrick made well over 200 appearances for Derby County after turning professional at the club in 2009. His success for Derby saw Burnley pay 10.5 million pounds for his services in August 2016 and he went on to play nearly 150 times for the club before moving to Newcastle on a free transfer. Jeff Hendrick is an extremely experienced player, which could be exactly what we need to balance the youth that the club will be forced to use this season.

    Hendrick's arrival follows the season long loan signing of Tyrese Fornah who joined the Royals on Friday. Fornah is also a midefielder and joins for the season from Nottingham Forest where he has played four times, including two starts for his parent club in the League Cup. He has spent time on loan out at Plymouth and, last season, at Shrewbury. Fornah immediately pulled on a Reading shirt after his arrival as he playing in the behind-closed-doors 0-2 defeat to Benfica at St. George's Park on Saturday.

    Most memorable moments in Reading Football Club's history

    11 July 2022
    By Hob Nob Anyone?

    Football is regarded to be the biggest sport in the world, and when it comes to England, one can see that there are many football clubs. One in particular that has a long and stunning history is Reading FC. It's been 151 years since being founded, so it's no surprise that within that time span they have created some special moments.

    But there are some moments that are more important than others. Moments that many fans hold dear to themselves. Well in this article we will be seeing which are the most memorable moments in Reading FC’s 151 year history.

    Imagine yourself being in the moments that will be mentioned below, witnessing your club winning the league, or seeing them play in the new stadium. Fans have been seen celebrating and enjoying themselves. Imagine if you placed a bet at 32Red sportsbook that Reading would win the league with a record points tally. These are the moments that people will cherish for the rest of their lives.

    When The Club Turned Professional

    After 24 years of operation, the club turned from amateur to professional. This gave the club a rise in their name and saw many players looking to get into the club as fast as possible. The club grew bigger and bigger as months went by, and with fans increasing the club saw a need for a larger stadium and in 1896 the club moved to Elm Park which saw them play in the Southern League for the next 25 or so years.

    First Ever Trophy

    Going into a new league was always going to be difficult, but to end up runners-up in the Southern League after just being in it for just 7 years is out of this world. This was the first time they came close to winning a professional trophy. This was the start of something special as they went on to end up runners up in the years 1904/05 and also 1914/15.

    But in 1910/11 their first trophy finally came, as they won the second division of the Southern League which saw them getting promoted to the first division in the Southern League. Who knows what the players were feeling at that moment. Winning the clubs first ever professional trophy. Who knows how the fans were feeling, after all those years of support. It was finally time for the fans to celebrate as Reading FC became champions for the very first time.

    Championship winners

    In more recent history, Reading FC has won the Championship on 2 occasions, which were in 2005/06 and 2011/12. Both of these championship wins saw them getting promoted in what is regarded to be the best league in the world. Winning a league title is special but winning it with a record under their belt is even more special. In the 2005/06 year Reading FC won the League with a points tally of 106, the most achieved by any team in history.

    Reading Start Pre-Season With Win

    03 July 2022
    By Hob Nob Anyone?

    Reading started their pre-season with a 2-0 victory over Colchester United in a warm up fixture at the Royals' training ground this weekend. Despite having a much depleted squad over the summer with so many players leaving at the end of their contracts, the Royals were still able to play 23 players as they took the opportunity to give the whole first team squad a run out. Reading were two goals up after just twenty minutes. An own goal was followed up by a Yakou Meite penalty to double the lead after Lucas Joao was fouled inside the box. Both Joe Lumley and Dean Bouzanis appeared in goal after recently joining the club.

    Meanwhile the club have confirmed that Femi Azeez has extended his contract with the club and will now remain a Royal until the summer of 2024. Striker Nahum Melvin-Lambert, who signed a first professional contract last year, has also signed a new contract.

    There remain strong rumours about the return of former Reading striker Shane Long. Thirty-five year old Long is out of contract after 11 years at Southampton and is currently looking for a new club after only getting limited action for the past couple of seasons. Long, a previous player of the season at Reading, would probably be more than happy to drop down a division as his career reaches it's later stages and would expect to be taking a pay cut - so there could be some truth to the reports.