When we last touched base with Reading's Under-18s side we spoke of the potential for a European campaign, a first Premier League title at youth level, and even headlined a picture of the Nou Camp to emphasise the potential for greatness we sat before.
As it turns out, we may have been a little over excited. Four games into the Final Stage of the 2015/16 U18 league and the Royals sit seventh out of eight, having won just once and played two more games than bottom club West Ham.
What went wrong? Well a quick glance at the table gives one immediate area for improvement, the defence. Nine goals conceded, most of which came in Saturday's 6-2 defeat to Chelsea, is the worst in the top group. That said, goals are generally more abundant in academy football, the past month alone seeing scores such as 4-3, 5-2, and even Wolves getting spanked 7-3 by Spurs. Who would do that, amirite?
Reading's sole victory at the business end of the season came in an impressive 4-1 win away to Liverpool, but defeats to Manchester City and Everton (both 0-1) see the Royals four points below the top spot.
Next up is a weekend off as the other teams catch up their games played column, ahead of a bottom-of-the-table clash with the Hammers. Blackburn and Fulham then come to Hogwood to round off what has, to be fair, been another top class season from the academy.