Reading Football Club yesterday announced the signing of 22-year-old Rowan Liburd from Isthmian Premier League team Billericay.
As explained on the official site:
6’4" with a turn of pace and an eye for goal, Rowan spent four years in America on a football scholarship and made a name for himself at Georgia’s Thomas University. He won a host of awards, including the Sun Conference Player of the Year, which covers Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Returning to the UK last summer, he set about making his way in the English game, and having caught the eye of our scouts, he now gets his chance at Reading in our development group. He has already scored twice for our Under 21s, helping them to a 7-0 friendly win over Beaconsfield a week ago, and the aim is for him to now keep progressing here at Madejski Stadium.
Nigel Howe and Nick Hammond both mention the term 'development' in their welcoming quotes, so I don't think you'll be seeing him play in the Championship anytime soon. Still, with a good goalscoring record and what looks a good combination of height and pace, he's worth discovering if he can be yet another gem
The question now is whether Rowan Liburd will take after former budget signings Michail Antonio, Kevin Doyle and Shane Long or Dave Mooney, Brett Williams and Karl Sheppard. Antonio is subject of Premier League big bids after an impressive stint at Nottingham Forest, whilst Doyle and Long began at Cork City before joining Reading for a minimal fee and going on to have established top-level careers; Mooney is moving around in League One and Williams League Two after unsuccessful stints with the Royals, and Karl Sheppard is back playing his football in Ireland. Only time will tell; though scoring 22 goals between November and April of last season is a good starting point.
Reading fans: what do you make of the news? Will he ever feature for the first team? Let us know your thoughts below.