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Which Reading FC Players Have Play-Off History?

Find out how members of the Royals' current squad have got on in play-off campaigns gone by with their former clubs...

Middlesbrough v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship Playoff Final
Lewis Grabban celebrates at Wembley at 2015.
Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Chris Gunter & Garath McCleary

Best pals Gunter and McCleary were of course at Nottingham Forest together before they both signed for Reading in 2012. In their time at the City Ground, the pair experienced Championship play-off heartbreak twice - in 2009/10 and 2010/11. In the former season, Forest finished third but lost to Blackpool in the semi-final, whilst in the latter they finished sixth and lost to Swansea over two legs - The Swans of course would go on to beat Reading in the final. Gunter played every minute of all four of those matches, whilst McCleary wasn't even in the matchday squad for either Blackpool game but did make a sub appearance in the first leg against Swansea the following year.

Joey van den Berg

Of the Dutchmen at the club, Joey van den Berg is the only one to have had play-off experience, which came with PEC Zwolle in the 2010/11 Eerste Divisie in his homeland - a time when Jaap Stam was assistant manager at the same club. Zwolle finished second in the regular league season and got through a two legged tie with Cambuur but then lost out to VVV-Venlo. Fear not though, Joey, Jaap and Zwolle would go on to win promotion the following year by winning the second tier title.

Paul McShane

The skipper won automatic promotion to the Premier League with Hull City four years ago, but his only experience of the play-offs came whilst on loan at West Brom from Manchester United in 2006/07. The Baggies finished fourth in the Championship table so faced Midlands neighbours Wolves in the semi-finals. McShane played the entirety of both games as West Brom won 4-2 on aggregate, before playing 71 minutes in the Wembley final which his team lost 1-0 to Derby.

John Swift

Whilst on loan at Swindon from Chelsea in 2014/15, John Swift came on as a sub in the Robins' League One play-off semi-final first leg against Sheffield United. However he picked up a muscle strain in a 2-1 win, ruling him out of the second leg (an epic 5-5 draw) and the final, which Swindon lost 4-0 to Preston.

Stephen Quinn

Whether Stephen Quinn will be fit enough to play any part in the play-offs this season is doubtful, but the midfielder has probably suffered the most play-off heartbreak previously than any other player in the squad, losing two Wembley finals with Sheffield United. The first came in 2008/09 following a third place finish in the Championship, when the Blades overcame Preston in the semi-finals before losing 1-0 to a Burnley side who had end Reading's promotion hopes in the other semi.

Four years later, Sheffield United had been relegated to League One, but were hoping for an immediate return to the second tier as they finished third. Quinn had had an excellent campaign, being named in the division's team of the season, but was to again suffer disappointment in the play-offs. The Blades won 1-0 on aggregate against Stevenage to reach Wembley, but lost out to Huddersfield in the final in the hardest way possible - a penalty shoot-out. Quinny netted his spot-kick, but goalkeeper Steve Simonsen blazed his effort over the bar as United dramatically lost 8-7. The Irishman signed for Hull that summer and earned promotion to the Premier League with the Tigers in his first season club as they finished second in the Championship.

Jordon Mutch

Having not featured for Reading since the start of April, it is likely that we've seen the last of Jordon Mutch in blue and white hoops, so the Crystal Palace loanee will have to settle for his previous play-off experience with Birmingham City in 2011/12. The Blues finished fourth in the same season that Reading won the league, before facing Blackpool in the play-offs. Mutch played the entirety of both legs, but couldn't prevent his side from losing 3-2 on aggregate. He would depart for Cardiff City that summer, and win the Championship in his first season with the Bluebirds.

Yann Kermorgant

Yann might be the player with the biggest fear of the play-offs. It's likely that his mind has flashed back to his first season in England with Leicester City in 2009/10, when he had a semi-final to forget. The Foxes had finished fifth in the table so shaped up against Cardiff, losing the first leg 1-0. They did however win 3-2 in Wales, taking the tie to a penalty shoot-out. In said shoot-out, Kermorgant was the fourth Leicester player to shoot, with everyone else from both sides before him hitting the back of the net. The Frenchman attempted a cheeky chip down the middle, but it was read easily by David Marshall to make Yann look a bit of an idiot. Team-mate Martyn Waghorn also saw his spot-kick saved as the Foxes were dumped out.

Lewis Grabban

Loanee Lewis Grabban is the only Reading player to have featured in the play-offs for two previous clubs. Firstly, in his time at Millwall, the Lions made the League One play-offs in 2008/09 after finishing fourth. Grabban was an unused substitute in the first leg against Leeds United, but came on for the last half an hour in the second leg as his side progressed 2-1 on aggregate. He then started the final against Scunthorpe but was withdrawn just after the hour mark with Millwall 2-1 up. He may well have felt slightly frustrated on the sideline as he saw his side end up losing 3-2.

Six years and five clubs later, Grabban's Norwich City were in Championship play-off action following a third place finish. The striker was actually suspended for both of the semi-final legs against local rivals Ipswich, but returned to the substitutes bench for the final against Middlesbrough. He came on in the 74th minute, by which point the Canaries were already 2-0 up. That was how it stayed, meaning Grabban is the only member of Jaap Stam's squad to have enjoyed play-off success!


Total play-off semi-final appearances*: 12

Total play-off final appearances: 6

Total play-off goals: 0

Total play-off penalties missed (sorry Yann!): 1

Total play-off wins: 1

*one two-legged tie counts as one appearance

All information taken from Wiki, the BBC and Soccerbase.