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Jem Karacan Interview Part One: Text Highlights

Won't get a chance to listen to the full podcast? We've got you covered.

Reading v Blackpool Photo by Jed Leicester/Getty Images

We've assembled some highlights from the Jem Karacan interview and typed them up for your reading pleasure. For plenty more, you can listen to the full version here.

On leaving Reading and making the switch to Galatasaray

"I joined coming up to 18 months ago, which was an extremely tough decision. I love Reading to bits and after being there so long, being captain, it was the hardest decision I’ve made and probably will ever have to make.

At the time, I’d only played a few games after coming off that horrific, never ending injury, so there was still quite a little bit of doubt in my own mind.

When I got offered the three year deal, it was looking more into security for my own future and my family’s – just trying to think of you never know what can happen in football.

At the time, Reading were absolutely brilliant with me, and I never have a bad word to say, and I can completely understand where they were coming from in terms that I hadn’t played a lot of football.

But there wasn’t a long contract on offer and I think most people in that situation would have probably looked at the security of a longer term deal, and at a club I’d that I’d kind of always dreamed of playing for. My dad supported Galatasaray, well the whole family did, and I’d watched them a lot growing up."

“It was too good to turn down, it was difficult, and I still sit here now sometimes thinking about what would have happened if I stayed, and it’s one of those things I guess will stick with me, that I’ll have to live with, but that’s how it is.”

On Eamonn Dolan

“Eamonn was just brilliant, he was that father figure that you could speak to, and you would never want to get on his wrong side. He’d always have a laugh with you and he'd show you the right way. There was always that thing where he was like your dad, you never wanted to get told off by him, when you did you felt it was the end of the world.

He knew absolutely everything – what you were doing at home, when you went back to your mum’s, somehow he had spies everywhere. He’d always crack me up, even when I moved to Turkey, he was always sending me stuff.

He was the most influential person in my career, and he always will be. I’ve still got the texts, just to go over them every now and again. He’ll be massively missed.

I saw him just before he sadly passed and it was tough, but it was just nice to see him again after not seeing him since I'd moved to Istanbul. We had a couple of chats about old memories and stuff and it was tough, but it was something I'll always look back on with good memories."

On the loan move to Millwall

"Obviously when you’re growing up you hear all the stories of Millwall, and my uncle was a massive Millwall fan. After my loan at Bournemouth, Gibbo rang me up and said that Kenny Jackett wanted to take me there on loan.

I loved it, because I was moving back home as well, so it was perfect for me.

But I remember my first game, and I got absolutely abused by a Millwall fan – won’t go into too much details – but I think it was about me being Turkish. And I was like, “hold on a minute mate, I’ve got a Millwall shirt on here”. I laughed at it as well at the same time because I was like “wow, football’s crazy”.

It was amazing that little spell I had, I think we played seven games, we only lost one and we kind of steered away from relegation. It was a massive learning curve growing up, and it was something that made me really, when you look back at those loan spells."

On Brendan Rodgers

"I guess it's quite funny at the moment, obviously with Jaap Stam coming in and Reading are playing that 'total football' at the moment, and they're obviously doing brilliant with it. I guess you can try and compare them a little bit.

He came in he changed a lot of things. Brendan he'd obviously come from Chelsea he that kind of Mourinho-esque thing. But his training was unbelievable, the boys absolutely loved it. We were going into that start of the season, the home game at Forest, and we were thinking "we're gonna batter these". We'd been unbelievable in training, we all felt on top of the world.

I think we drew. It was a bore draw, we bossed the game, we kept the ball all day, it felt great but we obviously didn't win.

We went on, losing to Newcastle and then at West Brom. We didn't get that win that would have kickstarted it, and I think that was massive probably looking back at it.

"It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Brendan stayed, but sadly it didn't work out, he obviously moved on to Swansea."

On a failed move to Besiktas

"As Brendan came in, Reading had accepted a bid for me from Besiktas."

"My agent was in talks with them, as far as I know the bid had been accepted and they offered me a contract, and I was sitting there thinking "well let's get some more".

"It was a whirlwind. I've done it now, I was 26 when I moved, and it’s been the hardest thing in the world now, let alone what I can imagine it would have been when I was 19, so I'm happy it didn't work out. Once Reading obviously told me to stay, I turned around straight away and said "of course I'm not going, I'm staying".

You can find the full audio from the first part of our special interview with Jem Karacan here.