Guide To The Reading FC Team

Reading FC Squad Guide - 2002/2003 Season

Updated for the start of the 2002/2003 Division One season (July 2002).
Previous squad guides for past season are available from the articles index.

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 easily won the battle for first team keeper spot from Howie during the 2000/2001 season, resulting in Howie's departure. The 2001/2002 season saw Whitehead miss out mid-season through injury before making a confident come back as the Royals won promotion. A solid keeper who has now made over 100 appearances for the Royals and will feature all season long unless he gets injured.

Graeme Murty
Squad number   2
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, and he's now proved himself as a great defender too. Murty had a superb 2001/2002 where he avoided injury and was voted Hob Nob Anyone? player of the season by a long way. One of the first players you'd pick for the starting eleven.

Nicky Shorey
Squad number   3
Position Defender
Signed from Leyton Orient, February 2001, £25,000
Previous clubs   Leyton Orient
More info An impressive full back who broke into the team last season as a regular and looked fantastic. Signed from third Division Leyton Orient. The Royals initially paid 25,000 for the player but the transfer fee will increase if Shorey makes a certain number of appearances for the Royals. Shorey signed a professional contract with Orient in the summer of 1998 and went on to make 16 appearances - 13 in the starting eleven - before moving to Reading, signing a three and a half year contract. At only 20 he's got a massive future at Reading.

Kevin Watson
Squad number   4
Position Midfielder
Signed from Rotherham, March 2002, £150,000
Previous clubs   Tottenham, Brentford, Bristol City, Barnet, Swindon Town, Rotherham, Reading (loan).
More info Watson signed for Reading in March 2002 after strangely falling out of favour at Rotherham. Watson had already enjoyed a successful loan spell at Reading in which Reading's season finally came together. Watson is a great passer of the ball and holds the midfield together a treat. A bargain signing.

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. Viveash looks set to feature regularly during the next season but has competition with Mackie and Williams for the centre back positions.

John Mackie
Squad number   6
Position Defender
Signed from Sutton United, October 1999, Free
Previous clubs   Crawley Town, Sutton United
More info Mackie 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 didn't see what he was capable of doing on the pitch until last season where he exploded onto the scene and looked like a very experienced centre back despite his lack of professional games. His sudden impressive appearance rightly earned him the Hob Nob Anyone? award for most improved player of the season during 2001/2002.

Tony Rougier
Squad number   7
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. Since joining the Royals, Rougier has been hot and cold. He seems capable of doing great things but often fails to deliver and has trouble finding the net. Rougier's scored just 3 goals in about 80 matches to the start of the 2002/2003 season.

Adie Williams
Squad number  


Position Defender
Signed from Wolves, July 2000, Free
Previous clubs   Reading, Wolves
More info Popular central defender who fits in 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. Injury kept Williams out during the 2000/2001 season - but he returned during the 2001/2002 season.

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 during the 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. Butler scored 28 goals during the 2000-2001 season - but also helped Jamie Cureton by setting plenty more up. Last season Butler was ruled out for a long time through injury, scoring just two goals up until he was ruled out from November onwards. Butler returned with two games of the season left and will look to return to full action this season coming.

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. Forster returned to full fitness last season and is set to cause panic in Division One defences during Reading's 2002/2003 campaign. Forster was voted runner up in last season's Hob Nob Anyone? end of season awards.

Andy Hughes
Squad number   11
Position Midfielder
Signed from Notts County, July 2001, Free
Previous clubs   Oldham, Notts County.
More info Hughes looked to be a fantstic signing after joining in the summer of 2001 when his contract at Notts County expired. Hughes, with over 100 league starts to his name at County, impressed in pre-season friendlies - scoring on his debut at Aldershot and setting up the other. Hughes can be a determined and solid winger but struggled during the 2001/2002 season to reach full form. His crossing was disappointing at times and he played far better when he wasn't left out on the wing.

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. At Reading he's been fantastic, despite playing through injury a lot of the time and getting substituted far too much. He scored a huge 30 goals for the Royals during the 2000/2001 season and followed it up with 16 goals during the 2001/2002 campaign.

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 played just a handful of games during the 1999/2000 for the Royals, but followed that up with substantially more games the following season before becoming a regular during the 2001/2002 season. The sight of Sammy in his super shorts running down the wing is a delight, that's for sure.

James Harper
Squad number   15
Position Midfielder
Signed from Arsenal, February 2001, Free
Previous clubs   Arsenal, Cardiff (Loan)
More info Signed from Arsenal on a free transfer, Harper kicks off his professional career at Reading. Harper failed to appear at Arsenal and made just three appearances on loan at Cardiff before being snapped up by the Royals. Harper has plenty of potential and tonnes of skill. In his debut for the Royals he impressed so much Pardew told him off for "show-boating". He's been on the fringes since and not helped by injury, but could be set for a big impression during the 2002/2003 season.

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 seasons. 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 completed his testimonal last season - and we all hope he's still got enough left in him for a few more successful seasons. Parky signed a new two year contract for the start of the 2001/2002 season. When the contract expires, and probably before that, he'll move into coaching.

John Salako
Squad number   17
Position Forward
Signed from Charlton, January 2002, £50,000
Previous clubs   Crystal Palace, Swansea (loan), Coventry, Bolton (loan), Fulham, Charlton, Reading (loan).
More info Salako, perhaps approaching the end of his playing career, was clearly pure class in Division Two when he arrived on loan in November 2001 at Reading. His ball skills were perhaps the best seen at the Madejski during the 2001/2002 season. After fifteen league games on loan and four goals he signed a full deal in January 2002. His form dipped a little bit, but there's no doubting his quality.

Adrian Whitbread
Squad number   18
Position Defender
Signed from Portsmouth, July 2001, Free
Previous clubs   Leyton Orient, Swindon, West Ham, Portsmouth, Luton Town (loan), Reading (loan).
More info Reading signed Portsmouth centre-back Adrian Whitbread in July 2001 after a three month loan deal at the end of the 2000/2001 season. With Adrian Williams out injured Whitbread was brought in on loan to provide defensive cover - and come straight into the team. Whitbread was well known by Reading assistant manager Martin Allen after making 144 starts for Portsmouth after signing for 250,000 quid in October 1996. Whitbread also made 13 league appearances while on loan at Portsmouth while on West Ham's books. His career started at Leyton Orient where he made 154 starts after signing as a trainee in 1989. This was followed by two 500,000 pound moves - firstly to Swindon in 1993 where he made 37 starts before moving to West Ham in the summer of 1994. Whitbread should feature week in week out after his sold performances last season and the end of the season before.

Joe Gamble
Squad number   19
Position Midfield
Signed from Cork City, August 200, Free
Previous clubs   Cork City, Crawley Town (loan).
More info

Joe Gamble has been restricted to just a handful of first team appearances so far: one substitute appearance during the 2000/2001 season and a further ten games during the 2001/2002 season. A youngster who should feature more and more.

Bas Savage
Squad number   20
Position Forward
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   -
More info Player who has graduated from the Royals academy to become a squad member. Bas is a powerful forward player with a bright future ahead of him. Yet to break into the first team.

Jamie Ashdown
Squad number   21
Position Goalkeeper
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   Gravesend & Northfleet (loan while at Reading)
More info Ashdown become second choice keeper after the departure of Howie. Ashdown has shown himself to be a decent keeper but found it hard to break into the first team. After the injury to Whitehead, Ashdown got his chance last season and played in the 0-1 home league defeat against Colchester. He wasn't given an extended run however with loan keepers brought in and he found himself back on the bench yet again.

Nathan Tyson
Squad number   22
Position Striker
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   Maidenhead United (loan while at Reading)
More info Tyson looks to be a nippy young player who could run rings round defenders. Tyson banged in plenty of goals for the youth side and looks certain to make an impression, despite only a limited number of appearances for the first team so far.

Andre Boucaud
Squad number   23
Position Midfielder
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, and should see himself on the fringes during the coming season.

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. He followed that up with a dramatic start to the 2001/2002 season after becoming a regular in the starting line-up or on the bench. Despite limited starts he scored 11 goals last season. He still needs to sharpen his game but he'll always get a few goals due to his size and awkwardness.

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 the 2000/2001 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 the 2000/2001 season, scoring one goal. Unfortunately Newman missed the 2001/2002 season through injury, but is set to make a return now.

Alex Smith
Squad number   26
Position Defender/Midfielder
Signed from Port Vale, July 2001, Free
Previous clubs   Everton, Swindon, Huddersfield (loan), Chester, Port Vale
More info Twenty-six year old Smith can play on the left side of either defence or midfield and signed a two year contract with the Royals in July 2001 after his contract at Port Vale expired. Smith started his professional career with Everton as a trainee in 1994 but never appeared for the first team before moving to Swindon Town on a free transfer. Smith then moved without fee to Chester and then Port Vale before signing for the Royals. Smith has made over 100 league starts with five league goals to his name before playing at Reading. Last season he found it hard to win a regular first team start.

Ricky Allaway
Squad number   27
Position Defender
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.

Steve Warren
Squad number   28
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   -
More info Warren impressed during the 2002/2003 pre-season friendlies, earning himself a squad number after playing in the academy team. Yet to break into the first team, and should see himself on the fringes during the coming season.

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. Pardew's first full season in charge saw Reading reach the 2000/2001 Division Two play-off final. His second full season saw automatic promotion from Division Two in 2001/2002. Pardew is well settled in his job and should do enough to keep his popularity during the coming season.

Kevin Dillon
Position Assistant Manager
Previous clubs   As a player: Birmingham City, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Reading, Stevenage
As a manager: None
More info Kevin Dillon took over from Martin Allen in December 2001 as assistant manager under Alan Pardew. Like Pardew, Dillon's experience comes primarily from managing Reading's reserve side. After a successful playing career Dillon returned to Reading from Stevenage, where he started as Youth Team manager before progressing to reserve team boss.

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