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Youth International Report: Work In Progress After Qualifiers Produce Mixed Bag

With Reading's burgeoning academy producing a plethora of youth internationals, here's a round-up of how they got on in the break from league action.

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Starting with a man arguably not a 'youth', in Reading terms at least, is Australia Under-23 winger Ryan Edwards. The 21-year-old was part of a squad including Fulham midfielder Ryan Williams and Joshua Brillante - who plys his trade in Serie A - to win all three matches of their qualification group for the 2016 AFC U23 Championships. The tournament, held in January of next year, acts as a qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Edwards started all three games as the Olyroos qualified with three wins from three, including a 6-0 demolition of Hong Kong, topping their group.

However, two Royals not at youth tournaments in the coming months are Aaron Kuhl and Rob Dickie. The England Under-19 players were part of the squad as the Three Lions side finished behind France in their  U19 European Championships qualification group - and will not be at this summer's tournament. Midfielder Kuhl came on as a late sub in a 3-2 win over Denmark while defender Dickie remained on the bench throughout.

Striker Harry Cardwell was another to miss out on a place at the European Championships, turning out for Scotland's U19 side as they remained unbeaten but came second in Group 6 of the qualifiers. Cardwell started all three matches, but completed none of them and was replaced at half-time in draws with Italy and Croatia.

The Scottish Under-21 side, meanwhile, featured Dom Hyam and Jon Henly. A strong performance saw Danny Lennon's men beat Hungary 2-1 in a friendly on Thursday, with Hyam playing 45 minutes and Henly an unused sub.

Next up, all things Iceland. Reading's heritage with the Strákarnir okkar goes way back, and keeps on to this day. Sami Fridjonsson started in a 3-0 defeat to Romania in an U21 international on Thursday, while Axel Andresson (there's a name you haven't heard before) played every minute as Iceland U17s were knocked out of the European Championship qualifiers without a point or a goal in their group.

Fairing slightly better in the U17 qualifiers was Scotsman Tom McIntrye, with his side qualifying for the summer tournament and the Reading academy player getting the full 90 minutes in two out of the three group matches.

We had Danny Williams turn out for the US senior side and we also had Andrija Novakovich in the Under-20s squad for a weeks training camp here in England. This involved a behind-closed-doors friendly with Spurs' academy, and a 2-1 defeat to England, which Novakovich was an unused substitute for.

In further unused-sub-news, Sean Long and Pierce Sweeney were on the bench as the Republic of Ireland U21s beat Andorra's U21s 1-0 in Waterford on Thursday.

Finally, we'll end on poor Bogdan Vastuk. The Estonian U21 international has had to swallow some really tough results as a member of his country's youth side, but a 6-0 defeat to France in Valenciennes before a 2-1 home defeat to Kazakhstan is a bad week for anyone. Our man started but was booked in the former, and came on for 25 minutes in the other.


What do you make of our youth internationals' performances? Does it bode well for our future? Comment below.