Thai news outlet Siam Sport are today reporting that they have the full squad list for Reading's pre-season visit to Thailand. With the players flying out to South East Asia today, it'll certainly be interesting to see who's on the plane and who isn't. According to Siam Sport, Steve Clarke has chosen 25 players to take with him. Although most of the inclusions and omissions are unsurprising, there are a few notable points. With that in mind, here's the full reported list.
Hope Akpan, Nick Blackman, Orlando Sa, Jake Cooper, Anton Ferdinand, Chris Gunter, Sean Long, Jonathan Bond, Oliver Norwood, Jordan Obita, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Stephen Quinn, Hal Robson-Kanu, Dominic Samuel, Paul McShane, Jake Taylor, Ali Al-Habsi, Danny Williams, Tarique Fosu, Liam Kelly, Niall Keown, Aaron Kuhl, Andriy Novakovic, Nana Owusu and Aaron Tshibola.
A couple of those last names have been confirmed by the players themselves, with Nana Owusu posting this on his Twitter account...
Whilst it's definitely encouraging to see the inclusion of several bright young prospects in the squad, there are some interesting absentees. That 25-man squad has no place for senior striker Simon Cox, whilst out of contract duo Jem Karacan and Stephen Kelly are understandably not on the plane. Meanwhile, Reggae Boyz Garath McCleary and Michael Hector miss out due to involvement with the Jamaican national side.
Steve Clarke has also chosen to take the string of new signings on the tour of Thailand. The likes of Orlando Sa, Stephen Quinn, Paul McShane and Jonathan Bond all have a big opportunity to get to know their new teammates.
Interestingly, trial goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi is also reported as being involved. The Omani international recently started training with the Royals in the hope of earning a permanent contract in Berkshire. Evidently, Steve Clarke sees enough in him to offer a chance in Thailand this summer.
Also, oft-injured centre half Anton Ferdinand, who had been training with MLS side Chicago Fire, is on the plane. The former West Ham and QPR man got 45 minutes under his belt against Maidenhead, and is clearly looking forward to visiting Thailand.
Was nice to get 45mins under my belt in our 1st pre season game off to Thailand with the team..... see you tomorrow Thailand!!!!!— Anton Ferdinand (@anton_ferdinand) July 4, 2015
Edit: The club have now released the official squad of 25 on the Thailand trip. See it here, as they clarify Cox misses the trip through injury.
Cox has also sent out this tweet:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thanks for ur messages, very disappointed to miss Thailand trip but best for my hip to get rehab back at the training ground. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/URZ?src=hash">#URZ</a></p>— Simon Cox (@SCoxy31Real) <a href="https://twitter.com/SCoxy31Real/status/617727525767262208">July 5, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The original article from SiamSport was translated with the help of Google