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International Coach Hints Of More First Team Involvement For Reading FC's Novakovich

While plenty of Reading FC players will be jetting off to take part in international games this summer, one young striker has been held back by the club.

Michael Bradley/Getty Images

USA Under-20's coach Tab Ramos has told Top Drawer Soccer that Reading declined to release striker Andrija Novakovich for this summer's U20 World Cup in New Zealand that begins at the end of this month.

However, while the news may be a short-term blow for the 18-year-old, the reasons behind his omission make for much more promising reading.

"As far as the release from Reading, I can tell you Reading has done a great job with us over the years working with us with national teams, and they're very supportive of U.S. Soccer and their players coming up. The example of Bobby Convey in the past or Danny Williams recently.

"They do release their players. They just strongly felt that Andrija, this has been a very difficult year for him with the physicality of the Championship and being on their team, and they consider him a very important part of next year's group and their preseason, which starts late in June. And they strongly feel like at this point he's going to need the rest. I can't argue with that. I think if they at this point feel like that's what's best for their player - For me, as a U20 national team coach, above and beyond anything else, I know results are very important, but also what's important is that we advance players to our first team. And if that's the best case scenario for Andrija at this point, and that's what everybody feels is best for him, then I support that as well. Hopefully we have Andrija ready, whether it's for the Olympics or if it's for the senior team down the road."

Novakovich made his first team debut in the closing stages of the 4-1 defeat at Watford before also gaining a handful of minutes against Birmingham a few weeks later. The forward was also a big part of the Under 21 side who gained promotion last week and has clearly made an impression on those at the club after signing last April.

With Reading very much short of options in the final third, this could be a big chance for the striker to get himself in the first team picture for 2015/16 and for Reading to take him out of a big tournament is a serious sign that they feel he'll be in contention.

So what do you make of that one Tilehurst Enders? Good move by the club or should they have let him go off to get more international experience?