Guide To The Reading FC Team

Reading FC Squad Guide - 2001/2002 Season

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. A solid keeper who 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, but sometimes shakey at the back. Murty will be looking for an extended run in the team during the 2001-2002 season after getting back to full fitness last season.

Matt Robinson
Squad number   3
Position Defender
Signed from Portsmouth, January 2000, £150,000
Previous clubs   Southampton, Portsmouth
More info Matt Robinson arrived at the same time the "Royal Revival" began during the 1999-2000 season. Martin "Mad Dog" Allen recommended we get Robinson in after working with him at Portsmouth, and after he signed we seen to win, win, and win some more. Robinson started off very very impressive indeed as a quality full back who became a first team regular. Towards the end of the 2000-2001 season Robinson lost a bit of his confidence and didn't look quite the player he was. Still popular though.

Keith Jones
Squad number   4
Position Midfielder
Signed from Charlton, July 2000, Free
Previous clubs   Chelsea, Brentford, Southend, Colchester (Loan), Charlton
More info Although getting well on in the second half of his playing career Jones still has a bit to offer after proving himself a valuable player for Charlton. Jones has loads and loads of experience - with over 450 league games on his record. Keith has had a rough time at Reading after becoming an unfortunate target of fans abuse throughout the 2000-2001 season. For a while Jones' dip in form combined with constant abuse made it look like his Reading days were limited. A couple of great performances towards the end of last season was enough to see him keep his number four shirt for the 2001-2002 season. Jones isn't anything special, but he's more than handy to have in your squad.

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 week in week out this season.

Barry Hunter
Squad number   6
Position Defender
Signed from Wrexham, July 1996, £400,000
Previous clubs   Crusaders, Wrexham, Southend (Loan while at Reading)
More info Barry Hunter had a nightmare start to the 1999-2000 season after returning from a massive two year lay-off through injury. He was only given a one year contract and really had to prove himself - instead he made loads of mistakes and it seemed his days were numbered. He promptly added to his troubles by getting done for drink-driving and lost his club captaincy. And then he really got his act together and put in a string of superb performances in the centre of defence to more than earn his place back in the first team - and an extended contract offer from Alan Pardew. Hunter won't be a regular starter with Viveash, Williams and Whitbread all featuring in front of him - but he'll be ready to call on if any of those three aren't available for selection.

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 his

Adie Williams
Squad number  


Position Defender
Signed from Wolves, July 2000, Free
Previous clubs   Reading, Wolves
More info Popular central defender who'll fit in again 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 at the end and will look to be an ever present in the promotion campaign this 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. Last season he followed that up by realising a lethal combination up front with Jamie Cureton. Butler scored 28 goals during the 2000-2001 season - but also helped Jamie Cureton by setting plenty more up.

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 is back to full fitness now and ready to battle to win a first team place again.

Andy Hughes
Squad number   11
Position Midfielder
Signed from Notts County, July 2001, Free
Previous clubs   Oldham, Notts County.
More info Hughes already looks to be a fantstic signing after joining in the summer when his contract at Notts County expired. Hughes, with over 100 league starts to his name already, impressed in pre-season friendlies - scoring on his debut at Aldershot and setting up the other. A determined and solid winger who should be the creator of plenty of goals at Reading.

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 and despite playing through injury scored a huge 30 goals for the Royals during the 2000-2001 season.

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 last 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". Should be a regular or near abouts a regular.

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 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.

Neil Smith
Squad number   17
Position Midfielder
Signed from Fulham, August 1999, £100,000
Previous clubs   Tottenham, Gillingham, Fulham
More info Neil Smith played nearly 250 games for Gillingham before a two season spell at Fulham. He's definately not in the same league as Darren Caskey, but he's still good at winning the ball and laying it off. A decent enough player for Division Two, but probably on his way out from Reading.

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 at the end of last season.

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 made just one substitutes appearance for the Royals so far - but could feature more heavily during the 2001-2002 season.

Chris Casper
Squad number   20
Position Defender
Signed from Man Utd, November 1998, £300,000
Previous clubs   Manchester United, Bournemouth (Loan), Swindon (Loan)
More info Chris Casper looked to be a player in a million when he arrived on loan from Manchester United in September 1998. In his months loan spell he impressed with every kick off the ball - a superb tackler who won everything played towards the centre of defence and then did something with it. Premiership quality in a very young player. In a poll during October 1998 on Hob Nob Anyone?, 98% of voters said they wanted Reading to sign Casper - and everyone was overjoyed when he signed for a bargain 300,000 quid in November of that year. Casper continued to look brilliant in a five man defence but started to lose his initial shine by making more than a few mistakes in a four man defence. He went through a long period out of form in 1999, and just when he was starting to regain his confidence he broke his leg leaving him side-lined long term. Casper's fit for the new season - we'll have to see if he can regain his form.

Jamie Ashdown
Squad number   21
Position Goalkeeper
Signed from Trainee
Previous clubs   Gravesend & Northfleet (loan while at Reading)
More info Ashdown becomes second choice keeper after the departure of Howie during the close season. Ashdown has shown himself to be a decent keeper but will find it hard to break into the first team this season with Whithead looking more than solid.

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 Division Two defenders. Tyson banged in plenty of goals for the youth side and looks certain to make an impression.

John Mackie
Squad number   23
Position Defender
Signed from Sutton United, October 1999, Free
Previous clubs   Crawley Town, Sutton United
More info At time of writing John is a mystery player who 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're yet to see what he's capable of doing on the pitch.

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. Plenty of time for him to get a bit of experience behind him though and sharpen up his game.

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 last 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 last season, scoring one goal.

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-five 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. He will be missed at Port Vale after becoming a popular player that was virtually ever-present last season. Smith has made over 100 league starts with five league goals to his name.

Ricky Allaway
Squad number   27
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.

Nicky Shorey
Squad number   28
Position Defender
Signed from Leyton Orient, February 2001, £25,000
Previous clubs   Leyton Orient
More info An impressive looking full back who could feature more this season. 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 seems certain to be a good prospect for the future - however the 19 year old player made plenty of appearances for Orient before signing for Reading. 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.

Adam Lockwood
Squad number   29
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.

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. Last season, Pardew's first full season in charge, was so nearly a success. Pardew is the man to take us up this season.

Martin Allen
Position Assistant Manager
Previous clubs   As a player: QPR, West Ham, Portsmouth
As a manager: None
More info Martin Allen - known as "Mad Dog" arrived at the beginning of 2000 after coaching at Portsmouth, and has played a massive part in turning the fortunes of Reading Football Club around. Working closely with Pardew we've made some sensible signings and are playing like a side capable of getting out of Division Two. Martin Allen is a complete nutter, make no mistake - winning is the only option, whatever it takes. As a player he'd always be the most determined player on the pitch - West Ham paid £670,000 quid for Allen's will to win way back in 1989. Allen, born in Reading, has always been a Reading fan and expects every player to share his love of the club.

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