Football Season Guide



Chris Gunter (defender)( Nottingham Forest); Adrian Mariappa (defender)(Watford); Nicky Shorey (Defender)(West Brom);Pierce Sweeney(midfielder)(Bray Wanderers); Garath McCleary(Midfielder (Nottingham Forest); Danny Guthrie(Midfielder)(Newcastle United) Pavel Pogrebnyak(forward)(Stuttgart)


Brett Williams (Forward )( St Jonhstone, loan); Michail Antonio (Sheffield Wednesday), Brian Howard (released), Tomasz Cywka (released), Andy Griffin (released), Jack Mills (released), Joseph Mills (Burnley, loan)

Reading are back in the big time after last going down on the final day of the 2007-2008 season. The Royals had a great come-from-behind campaign last season, which saw them not only attain promotion but also win the Championship trophy. Boss Brian McDermott, as usual when a club moves up, has been one of the busiest managers on the summer transfer market, rescuing Nicky Shorey from West Brom and bringing in Premiership caliber players such as Danny Guthrie from Newcastle and Pavel Pogrebniak, who had an impressive loan spell at Fulham last season. Other additions of note to the roster are Chris Gunther and Garath McCleary from Nottingham Forest as well as Jamaica defender Adrian Mariappa. More signings will be needed to help settle Reading back in the higher echelon of English football since most of the squad remains unproven at the top level. Jason Roberts was instrumental in the Royals' revival last term and should form a good striking partnership with Pogrebniak while the likes of McAnuff, Kebe and Le Fondre will need to raise their game to get consistent game time. McLeary and Leigertwood are the other contenders for a regular midfield starting spots. The main area of concern for McDermott will certainly be his defence since pace, of lack therof, might be an issue. In this perspective, the addition of the promising Marriappa to the central defensive options looks a wise move to offer an alternative to Gorkss or Pearce, who formed the central defensive unit last term. Veteran left back Ian Harte will compete with Nicky Shorey while on the right sided Chris Gunther will look to impose himself over Shaun Cummings.The solid Adam Federici will return in goal.


Most obviously, survival in the top flight wil be the name of the game for Brian McDermott. The Reading boss will expect the players who did so well in the Championship last season to raise their game while new signings should bring Premiership quality to Reading play. Still, the Royals will need to improve their defensive options, which look limited at the start of the season.