September 16, 2011
It's been a little while since our last update, so that means we've got plenty to get through in this edition. While the first team Reading squad may not of been performing anywhere near their best recently, our loan players have been doing plenty of good things outside of Berkshire, and we've got it all covered here.
First up, we head to Colchester, where Michail Antonio saw his loan extended at the U's after some impressive performance since joining last month. Colchester's assistant manager Joe Dunne spoke after Michail's renewal, saying; ""Michail gives us a different dimension,
"He likes to travel with the ball and take people on, which means we move up the pitch quicker and we can defend higher up the pitch because of his speed. He's done really well for us."
Since our last update on his progress, Michail has featured in all of Colchester's last 3 games. While he will be delighted to have started regularly since moving away from Reading for first-team football, he might be a bit disappointed that Championship-chasing Colchester have been held to three 1-1 draws against Scunthorpe, Leyton Orient and Brentford.
The U's, who are now 4 games without a win, will be hoping to get a much needed three points against Sheffield Utd on Saturday, where Antonio could come up against one of his Reading teammates (more on that later).
Next up is Brett Williams, who made his league debut for Rotherham against Swindon, with the game live on Sky Sports. Rotherham may have lost 3-2 but it was a day to remember for young Brett, whose only other first-team footballing experience will have been playing for Eastleigh in the Blue Square South. The striker came on after 63 minutes, and seemed to be a lucky omen, as Rotherham scored a minute later to go 2-1 up. However there was to be no debut victory for Brett, as Rotherham had a man sent off before letting in two goals.
He made a key influence on the game as the Millers chased a result, as he was able to get Swindon's Alberto Comazzi sent off following a foul on the Reading man.
This was unfortunately not enough to allow him to break into the starting XI, as since then he has been an unused sub against Dagenham & Redbridge, and was unlucky not to get into the 16 against Accrington.
He will be hoping to get back into the side as Rotherham travel to Torquay on Saturday.
Arguably the most successful loaned-out player right now is young defender Carl McHugh, who has gone out and got what every loan player wants: time on the football pitch.
Since joining back in July, Carl has played every minute possible for his Irish side Dundalk, who have played 8 games since his arrival.
Since our last update, Dundalk reached the Quarter-Finals of the FAI Cup, the main cup competition in Ireland, with a 2-1 win over Drogheda Utd. They play Bohemians today (Friday) hoping to reach the last 4, and will know all about their next opponents Bohemians, having played them just 3 days ago, going down 3-1 on Monday night. Their other 2 games recently were a 2-2 draw away to Galway Utd, and a 2-1 defeat to Shamrock Rovers, who recently grabbed the headlines following their Europa League exploits.
A player who will be hoping for similar success as he heads out on loan is forgotten left-back Marcus Williams, who joined Sheffield Utd for 28 days on Tuesday. He takes the No.30 shirt, and made his debut on that Tuesday night, with a 3-0 defeat at home to Huddersfield.
Having not played for over a year for Reading, Marcus' chances of getting first-team football seem to only be outside of Berkshire, and he will need to grab this opportunity and his new Yorkshire club.
With the Blades taking on Colchester on Saturday, if Marcus plays he will be coming up against teammate Michail Antonio on the Colchester wing, which could be rather interesting for us Royals fans. Will Antonio get the better of left-back Williams, or will Marcus keep the threat of the winger at bay? Hopefully, we'll see a good battle.
And finally, Reading have a number of youngsters plying their trade in the non-leagues.
Two of our players came up against each other on the 4th September, with Frankie Raymond's Eastleigh playing Dean Santangelo's Bromley. Dean's side ran out 2-0 winners, but it was an ex-Reading man who took the headlines, with Harry Harding scoring Bromley's second to clinch the match. Since then, Eastleigh went down to a 3-0 defeat against Dartford, while Bromley drew 2-2 against Salisbury.
Irish youth international David Murphy has started all of Cirencester's last 3 games, but has failed to score as they have suffered defeats to Redditch, Frome and Weymouth. Interestingly, Murphy's new strike partner is ex-Reading youngster Mitchell Bryant, who was actually given a squad number for the Royals for the 2009/10 season, as well as coming close to making the team against Burton Albion in the cup that year. Since his release later in the season, he has been around the non-league for teams like Gloucester and Hungerford, and now lines up for Murphy's Cirencester side in the Evo-Stik league.