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Reading FC Rookie Of The Year: 2015/16 Vote

Which young Reading FC newcomer has impressed you the most in the 2015/16? It's time to vote for your Rookie of the Year

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

So who has been the most impressive young newcomer into the Reading squad this year? Last year you voted for Jake Cooper ahead of Aaron Kuhl and Jake Taylor so who takes this year's Rookie of the Year honours?

As per last year here's the criteria and thought process behind the awards....

The Criteria

The PFA Young Player of the Year award has always bothered me. Sure, some players are young in age but when you've played over 100 Premier League games you might be a young player but you're not inexperienced.

Likewise if you're a Reading player who's already got significant game time under their belt like Jordan Obita, or Michael Hector, is it fair to be in the same section as true new faces such as Aaron Tshibola?

So for this award we'll only be considering those 22 and under on August 1st 2015 and with less than five Reading starts behind them coming in to this season. Likewise we'll only be considering those who are permanent signings.

You must have made five Reading starts or a combined 10 sub appearances & starts this season to qualify.

The Contenders

*Stats are for Championship games only

*****

Jonathan Bond

Appearances: 14, Clean Sheets: 4, TTE Average Rating: 5.9

It's never easy being a young goalkeeper, especially when you're with a new club and the defence in front of you is far from settled so you have to sympathise with young Bond, especially when he had to replace Adam Federici. Coming over from Watford, the 22 year old had less than 50 professional games under his belt but beat Ali Al-Habsi to be Steve Clarke's number one for the new season.

He got off to a sluggish start, with an error at Sheffield Wednesday costing the team two points before gradually working his way back into form. Unfortunately for Bond he picked up an injury after the win at Burnley and Ali Al-Habsi took his chance, to the extent where he was voted the club's Player of the Season.  Bond did get a handful of games to impress under Brian McDermott, before Brian settled on Al-Habsi for good.

*****

George Evans

Appearances: 6,  Goals: 0, TTE Average Rating: 5.2

Evans didn't have to wait long for his Reading debut after signing on a free from Manchester City in January, with the just turned 21-year-old thrown into the starting lineup against Sheffield Wednesday before the end of the month. Yet that 65 minute appearance would be his last for more than six weeks and only four(five?) have followed since.

He's looked tidy from what we've seen of him and has shown an eye for goal from range but to date it's really hard to make much of a judgement.

*****

Deniss Rakels

Appearances: 12,  Goals: 3, TTE Average Rating: 5.9

The fact that the Latvian qualifies for this list surprised me as it's easy to forget that he was just 22 when the season kicked off. Already the forward has bagged three goals (that's three more than Nick Blackman and fellow January target Conor Washington) including a memorable last minute winner away at Charlton.

He may not have been Brian McDermott's signing but the Reading boss has been quick to praise the striker, who's also quickly won the hearts of Reading fans.

He's still got plenty of work to do, still going down a bit too easily for one, but it's clear there's something about our Deniss and fingers crossed he only gets better from here.

*****

Aaron Tshibola

Appearances: 12,  Goals: 0, TTE Average Rating: 6.2

Few expected Aaron Tshibola to break into a crowded midfield picture that included Oliver Norwood, Danny Williams, Stephen Quinn, Hope Akpan and new signing Alex Fernandez but Tshibola proved a key figure, mature beyond his then 20 years as Reading made a bright start to the campaign.

The Royals lost just three of the 12 Championship games he played in and some point to his injury after the Fulham collapse as the main reason why our form deserted us so badly. The stats backed up his key role in the midfield and his defensive qualities were sorely missed after successive injuries prevented him from featuring in a league game under Brian McDermott.

*****

Non-Contenders

Surprisingly there's only four who qualify for this award and only two of them were actually here from the start of the season. Dominic Samuel, and Tariqe Fosu were both highly tipped to break through this year but both have had to settle for making a name while out of loan. Josh Barrett has shown flashes of promise but fails to meet our 5/10 criteria.

*****

So that's your four-man shortlist folks! Vote using the form below. First placed votes are worth five points, second is three and a third placed vote gets you one. You can follow the voting here and we'll bring you official results in a week or so!