News and Views
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:
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.