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The Week That Changed Reading

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There's been a lot of discussion over the direction of the Royals since the Thai takeover last summer. This was this week that the new era really kicked into gear. Here, we look back on seven days that changed Reading FC.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Monday

The week kicked off with the first real signing of the transfer windowOrlando Sa joined from Legia Warsaw and the summer spending tally officially nudged off of zero and into seven figures. Steve Clarke highlighted Sa's strength and scoring ability, having finished as top scorer for Legia last season, and we heard from Right Bank Warsaw's Chris, who outlined his great potential. It's fair to say the view from the Fulham Town End was less obliging, but one hopes Sa will be increasingly motivated by his failings from a past life in West London.

Tuesday

The TV cameras will be Berkshire-bound in early September. That's the news that greeted Royals fans on Tuesday morning as we learned that we are just about interesting enough to broadcast on Friday night, prime-time television, when we play Ipswich Town.

The more exciting news was to arrive in the form of confirming something that many couldn't bring themselves to believe when it was first rumoured. Indeed, Reading had plucked a free agent, Premier League experienced and international defender from under the noses of city's Cardiff and Hull. Stephen Quinn joined on a three-year deal. Fans seem happy with the finances of this aforementioned free transfer, with Steve Clarke's powers of persuasion seemingly enough to tempt the Irishman to Berkshire than than, say, buckets of cash. One for the notebook, Mr Zingarevich.

Wednesday

A new month and the official departures of messrs Karacan and Kelly was one that arrived with little acknowledgement; the duo's contracts ran out and while Jem seems destined for Galatasaray, the status of Mr. Kelly is less complicated and more oblivious.

The night time saw a strong audience tune in for England women's heartbreaking defeat in the World Cup semi-final to Japan. The Royal interest in the game was untapped as Fran Kirby remained benched, but the fact was there any interest at all will be a big boost to Reading FC's women's team.

Thursday

It all kicked off on July 2 as the Mad Stad played host to a number of incomings. Another Hull freebie dropped by to sign a three-year deal, defender Paul McShane became the latest addition to Steve Clarke's squad and it felt like a team of competent individuals was being established, with an ability to complement the youth being brought through. Amber Nectar blogger Les certainly agrees with us.

Furthermore, 33-year-old goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi was presented as an official Reading FC trainer as the club put his trial on the record and advocated a potential permanent deal for the former Wigan free agent. Clarke said that wheeling and dealing with free agents and bargain bucket specials was going to be the order of the day this summer, and it was coming true. That said, these were good signings if that were to be the case.

Friday

One goalkeeper who wouldn't be upping sticks to Berkshire was Wes Foderingham, who joined Rangers after turning down more time in Swindon. Potential signings get banded about a lot in the crazy summer months, but many supporters thought they were dreaming when news of a colossal (for us) bid of €3.5 million, or £2.5m(!), for Slovenian hitman Robert Beric. Frantic googling revealed the Rapid Vienna man scored 27 goals in the Austrian Bundesliga in his first season since joining from Sturm Graz. The asking price has been set at €5m (£3.5m), time will tell if this Reading side mean the business and splash the cash to never-before-seen levels

The new home kit was dropped on Friday, as well, and the new Thai energy drink sponsors Carabao began the additions of two and two. Could the sponsorship deals, which includes Thai Airways on the away kit and Waitrose on the back, really be worth that much? Either way, the radicalisation of the once-serene middle class nature of the club's sponsorship paves the way for Reading as a truly different club to the Madejski era. And as expected, the design of the new gear for next year garnered a mixed reaction...

Saturday

Would things calm down as we hit the weekend? No chance... Finally the Royals signed a first-team goalkeeper as England U21 stopper Jonathan Bond joined from Watford. The 22-year-old only made six appearances for the Hornets last campaign but comes with a good reputation, being selected for the England squad which travelled to the Czech Republic for the U21 European Championships.And it also meant we finally had a goalkeeper to model the new kit for next season!

And the Royals also got their pre-season schedule underway as a Reading XI beat Maidenhead United 1-0. Young striker Andrija Novakovich got the goal, whilst Anton Ferdinand managed 45 minutes as he continues his rehabilitation from injury.

Sunday

The team fly out to Thailand today for their match against the All-Stars.

A surprisingly quiet day so far, but we're only halfway through at the time of writing...

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There we go - one of the most memorable weeks in Reading history. Four new signings, one rumour emerging of breaking our transfer record, a new kit reveal, and plenty more... Pick out a single highlight from that! It's always been a rollercoaster supporting Reading but optimism will be at a high following seven days of non-stop action.