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New Contracts For Six Academy Players

Three under-23s have extended, while a trio of under-18s are stepping up their development.

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Reading have tied down the futures of half a dozen academy players. They’d confirmed in May that six out-of-contract youngsters had been offered new deals and, this afternoon, it’s been announced that all of those contracts have been ratified.

In the cases of under-23 trio Tyler Frost, Adam Liddle and Ramarni Medford-Smith, it’s a new professional contract, but under-18s Adam Desbois, Marcel Elva-Fountaine and Robert Nditi have put pen to paper on their first pro deals.

All in all, it’s great news that all will be continuing their development at Reading, and also that everyone offered a contract at the end of May has accepted.

To date, none of these six has either played for the first team or been involved on the bench. However, with Reading needing to given chances to young players next season due to FFP’s restraints, some of them could very well make their debuts.

That’s most likely to happen to one of the more senior three: Tyler Frost, Adam Liddle and Ramarni Medford-Smith. They’ve all played a decent amount for the under-23s so, considering they’ve been offered new deals by the club, you’d think that Jose Gomes sees them making an impact at senior level in the nearish future.

Reading U23 v Aston Villa U23 - Premier League 2 Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Frost is an attacking player who scored four goals in 17 Premier League 2 appearances last season. He also spent time out on loan at Havant and Waterloovile in early 2019. With Callum Harriott released, Garath McCleary getting older and Modou Barrow potentially soon to be sold, he’s got a decent chance of game time in 2019/20.

Striker Adam Liddle only stepped up to the under-23s in the summer of 2018, but played 16 times for them last season. He’s probably more likely to stay with the academy or head out on loan seeing as Reading have plenty of strikers ahead of him in the pecking order.

Finally, left-back Ramarni Medford-Smith could well burst into contention at some point. Tyler Blackett is probably our first choice at the moment, but isn’t too convincing pushing forwards, while Jordan Obita and Omar Richards are recovering from injury. Don’t rule out attacking full-back Medford-Smith from making his debut.

As for the other three, under-18 players Debois, Elva-Fountaine and Nditi are probably too young to be on the verge of a full debut. Then again, Michael Olise did it at 17 years old last season, so there’s every reason for them to be optimistic.

There is still however a question over the future of Danny Loader. The academy graduate’s contract is set to expire next summer, so hopefully the club can persuade him to follow in the footsteps of these six players and extend his deal.