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The Tilehurst End Interview: Aaron Kuhl

After last month's interview with former Royal Ryan Edwards, TTE is delighted to bring you the next in our series of interviews with Reading players past and present. Ladies and Gentlemen, 19-year-old midfielder and academy product, Aaron Kuhl.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

TTE: Looking back on your 'breakthrough season', with the fans voting you in the top two for our Rookie of the Year vote, what are the most important things you've learnt from being in and around the senior squad?

AK: I've learnt that there is a massive difference between first-team football and the Under-21s football in all aspects. I've also learnt that it's very ruthless; if you make a small mistake it can cost you a game, because of how high the standard of players are.

You grew up in a footballing household with dad Martin a professional while you were growing up, and coaching at Reading now. How much of an influence has that had on you?

Yeah my Dad has basically been my coach at all levels. It's great to have a father who's been there and done it. He gives my all the advice and guidance you need to tell you what to do and what not to do. He tells what mistakes he made and guides me not to make them myself.

Truthfully my dad is the main reason I chose to be a footballer, he is my inspiration and my role model, I look up to him as a coach, player and father.

Do team mates ever joke about special treatment during training under Martin?

No I haven't ever had that from any of the lads I guess; which is great to know we have a great bunch of lads in the academy.

Captaining the side to the U21s Cup and earning promotion in 2014/15, what's the most important thing about achieving success in youth-level football? Do you believe you've been bred with a winning mentality?

Winning the cup and captaining the side was a great pleasure and a great moment in my life but I want to achieve a lot more. It's great to be winning at youth level because it's an amazing stepping stone for all of us to take a winning mentality to the first team. So yeah I do think we have got a winning mentality considering we have got to finals and semi-finals in all competitions in nearly all ages groups over the last three years!

How do you maintain your fitness during the summer months, balancing rest with the importance of arriving for pre-season in good shape?

Well we get given a program to follow over the off-season, it's spilt up into three periods; light periods to intensity training. You also get gym programs and specific stuff as well, for example speed work. Truthfully I hate the off-season I would rather just train on and off in the summer.

How did being with the England U19s side compare with the Reading squad? Is it hard to settle into a new group of team mates over a short space of time?

Being away with England was great. There wasn't too much difference between Reading and England. However all the players are top class and can produce magic at any time and win you a match by himself.

All the lads were great to me and made me feel very welcome, so it was very easy to just slip in and be part of the squad, but when you play with players of their standard it doesn't take long for you to click.

Finally, how do you find it to living a normal 'teenage' life? Do you find yourself being recognised when, for example, on a night out with friends?

Yeah it's okay I do get noticed quite a lot mainly because of my hair - which is a big statement to miss. But that's part and parcel of wanting to become a professional footballer.

Many thanks to Aaron and the club for their help in making this interview happen. All the best for the upcoming season and beyond! You can follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Kuhl