Congratulations to Adam Federici are in order - you’ve voted him as Reading’s best goalkeeper of the 2010s. Against some strong competition, he took an impressive 44% of the vote, ahead of Ali Al Habsi (36.4%) and Alex McCarthy (19.6%).
Of course, his time in Berkshire went back way further than the start of the 2010s. Feds became a Royal in 2005, making his debut against Manchester United in early 2007 in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. However, it wasn’t until after relegation - and the departure of then-first-choice Marcus Hahnemann - that Federici became Reading’s number one.
The Aussie was a key figure at the club in the first half of the decade, playing regularly under Brian McDermott in the Championship as Reading rose from second-tier strugglers to eventual league winners.
After playing every minute of every league game in 2009/10 (22 of those 46 coming inside this decade), he repeated that feat in the title-winning 2011/12 campaign - and could well have done so in 2010/11 too were it not for an injury that allowed one Alex McCarthy into the picture.
It was 2011/12 when Federici really strutted his stuff. A Reading team renowned for its defensive resolve could rely on a commanding, athletic goalkeeper behind them. In his 46 league appearances of that campaign, the Royals conceded just 41 goals and earned an impressive 20 clean sheets.
Federici eventually lost his place in the team to the hugely impressive Alex McCarthy in the following two seasons, but he won it back in 2014/15. The highlight of that campaign was undoubtedly Reading’s unlikely run to the FA Cup semi-final. Although Feds’ error to let Alexis Sanchez’ shot squirm under him sticks in the memory, his string of eye-catching saves earlier in the game should do too. Reading wouldn’t have got past 90 minutes in the first place without him.
The fans knew it, and what followed against Birmingham City a few days later was a massive outpouring of support for a hugely popular chap: #FlagsForFeds
Memorable moment: Brighton 0-1 Reading
As the saying goes, the mark of a good side is the ability to win even when they’re not at their best. Reading certainly needed to do that a few times at the tail end of the 2011/12 season in order to win the league, and we could do that because we were able to count on a goalie as good as Federici.
Perhaps the best example of that was the 1-0 away win at playoff-chasing Brighton and Hove Albion. Ian Harte’s deflected free kick gave Reading an early lead, but it was Federici’s goalkeeping heroics - including saving a second-half penalty - that sealed a huge win.
It came at a vital time too. Those three points put Reading six clear of West Ham United and level with Southampton - who we played a few days after the 1-0 win at Brighton. With the Royals eventually only snatching the title by one point, it’s Federici’s heroics that can be thanked in large part for bringing a trophy to Berkshire.