Whilst none of Reading’s senior team had any hope of being nominated in the 2017/18 EFL Awards, the Royals will be represented at the ceremony later this month by academy star Danny Loader, who has been named on the three man shortlist for the LFE Championship Apprentice of the Year.
The 17-year-old is in contention for the award alongside Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon and Sheffield Wednesday’s Alex Hunt, with the winner being announced on Sunday 15th April.
Loader’s nomination comes after an impressive year with both Reading and England after he burst onto the scene with four goals in a 5-2 friendly win over QPR last summer. Competitively this season, he has netted five goals and registered two assists in 12 appearances for the Under-23s, and also made his debut for the first team as a substitute in the EFL Cup fixture with Millwall. In doing so, he became the first player born in the Madejski Stadium era to feature in a senior game for the club.
At international level, the forward was part of the England Under-17 squad that won the World Cup in India last October. Loader scored twice against Iraq in the group stages, helping the Young Lions on their way to glory.
The nomination from the LFE (League Football Education) follows Loader being presented with the Reading Sports Personality of the Year Award (along with Luke Southwood) in March, whilst last year he won Reading’s Maurice Edelston Memorial Trophy for best academy schoolboy, so he’s no stranger to individual accolades.
Elsewhere in the EFL Awards, Royals academy graduate Jack Stacey has been included in the League Two Team of the Season, after excelling at Luton Town following a permanent move from Berkshire last summer. The 21-year-old has made 40 appearances for the Hatters this season, largely as a right-back, helping the team to second place in the fourth division and in with a real shot at promotion.