The premise, then, is rather simple. Here are three teams, compiled almost at random, each containing four outfield players and a goalkeeper that have appeared for Reading but are now released by their latest club. There were a couple of rules, of course, none of them (almost) can be officially retired, and they must have been released by a different club or out of work for over a year.
Anyway, less rules and more five-a-side outfits to ponder - after all, this is just a bit of fun...
Lining up first are a band of short-termers. This squad was assembled based on each player being part of a short, sharp, but generally successful spell at the Mad Stad. In goal - and breaking the rules immediately - is Stuart Taylor, released recently from Leeds Untied and star of just four appearances. Matthew Upson was certainly a success, notching his first professional league goal and a handful of clean sheets during a loan spell in 2002 - now out of contract with Leicester City.
Meanwhile, Nicky Shorey's most-recent Berkshire stay was a one-season-wonder as we finished 19th in the Premier League. Shorey's just departed League Two Portsmouth while 2011/12 Championship winner Hayden Mullins has been released by League Two-bound Notts County. Simon Church's stand-out season in 2009/10 puts him up front in a team that is bursting with experience. They shall be known as Team Short-Term Wonders.
Our next line-up of likely lads all share the same attribute; their noticeable build. Jamie Ashdown is between the sticks as his short-term deal with Oxford United comes to its conclusion in June, and his 6ft 4in frame puts him just above the 6ft 3in Matt Mills. Our former captain has just been dumped by Bolton Wanderers. Mikele Leigertwood adds further muscle to this physical side; Ledge is still out of work after being released by the Royals 12 months ago.
Speaking of former Reading favourites who have gone missing: Jimmy Kebe. The wing-wizard has released by Crystal Palace in January so definitely deserves a place in this team of tall & skinny stars. Up front is the attacker/midfielder/defender Greg Halford, recently let go by Nottingham Forest and continuing to define the phrase 'Jack of all trades, master of jack all.' Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Team Lanky.
The not-yet-retired and not-released-by-Reading rule is about to get smashed because, for the purposes of making up the numbers, Sal Bibbo is put in goal for team three; because he has just been released and did once play for Reading. Indeed, his spell in the mid-90s was probably more profitable than Darren O'Dea's disastrous loan to the Royals in the Brendan Rodgers' era. Spells in Ukraine and Canada couldn't have prepared the defender for the dire football found in Blackpool last season - whom he has now left. The Irishmen joins his fellow Republic defender Ian Harte, recently shorn from Bournemouth.
This Emerald Isle theme is the key ingredient (again, Bibbo aside) as the Hunt brothers - both released by Ipswich Town - reunite once again in this five-a-side outfit, named Team Ireland. With the collective motivation of this band of brothers, the brute force of Team Lanky, and the experience of the Short-Term Wonders, it makes for an interesting match-up.
Now, the reigns are handed over to you. Below is a poll to vote on the team that you believe to be strongest, with the winner announced in due course. Happy voting!