Every year, The Tilehurst End Podcast picks its best and worst players and moments of the past 12 months. Check out who claimed the gongs.
Player of the Year
Previous winners: Alex McCarthy (2013), Jordan Obita (2014), Oliver Norwood (2015), Ali Al Habsi (2016), Liam Moore (2017), Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (2018), Ovie Ejaria (2019)
Nominees: Michael Morrison, Lucas Joao, Yakou Meite, Rafael
2020 winner: Michael Morrison. The centre-back has become a rock for the Royals and has consistently performed week-in, week-out with barely any errors.
Most Improved Player
Previous winners: Jordan Obita (2013), Jake Cooper (2014), Nick Blackman (2015), Garath McCleary (2016), Liam Kelly (2017), Yakou Meite (2018), John Swift (2019)
Nominees: Omar Richards, Michael Olise
2020 winner: Omar Richards. Both candidates were already pretty decent before the year began but to see these two academy products become full-on Championship stars has been great to watch, with the left-back edging the debate.
The ‘Hal Robson-Kanu’ Award For Underachievement
Previous winners: Hal Robson-Kanu (2013 & 2014), Jordan Obita (2015), Jake Cooper (2016), Sone Aluko (2017 & 2018), George Puscas (2019)
Nominees: Danny Loader, Mark Bowen, Marc McNulty.
2020 winner: Danny Loader. It was such a shame to see the much-hyped academy lad fade out on a free, but ultimately it was a case of severe underachievement for Loader, something we he and the club need to shoulder the blame for.
Previous winners: Academy Success Story (2014), Bradford FA Cup Win (2015), Piazon clincher versus West Brom in the FA Cup (2016), Fulham 2nd Leg PO Win (2017), Mannone penalty save versus QPR (2018), The Wigan Comeback (2019)
Nominees: FA Cup penalty shootout win at Cardiff, first ‘URZ’ after fans’ return, Charlie Adam goal vs Fulham, Lucas Joao fourth vs Blackburn.
2020 winner: The first ‘Urz’ of fans’ return. It may have turned out to be a fleeting interlude of supporters back at the Mad Stad but the emotional, pent-up roar from the 2,000 inside the ground as the players emerged for the game against Nottingham Forest was beautiful.
Previous winners: Birmingham 6-1 Reading (2014), Arsenal’s winner at Wembley (2015), Handling of Brian McDermott’s sacking (2016), Moore’s Wembley penalty (2017), Ipswich 0-4 (2018), Fulham 1-4 (2019)
Nominees: Reading 0-3 Wigan, Reading 0-3 Brentford, Tier 3.
2020 winner: Reading 0-3 Wigan. Cheers, Liam.
Previous winners: Burnley pitch invasion (2014), Lady Sasima’s song (2015), HRK goal v Belgium (2016), Piazon returning to troll (2017), Ipswich scoring from our corner (2018), Bowen’s appointment
Nominees: iFollow not working for Stoke return, Overnight Kenyan following, Mark Bowen’s sacking, Dai Yongge offering Bowen director of football - per Adam’s advice, beating Luton 5-0.
2020 winner: Overnight Kenyan following. Ayub Timbe’s loan move to the club produced basically nothing on the pitch but a swell of African support off it. We loved the barmy social media comments from the winger’s supporters.
The ‘Pavel Pogrebnyak’ Most Missed Reading Player
Previous winners: Adam Federici (2015), Aaron Tshibola (2016), Danny Williams (2017), Jordan Obita (2018), Lewis Baker (2019)
Nominees: John Swift, Lucas Joao.
2020 winner: Lucas Joao. When he’s injured, Reading are a much worse team. A fact we have become all too unfamiliar with in 2020.
Previous winners: Royston Drenthe (2013), Dominic Samuel (2014), Jonathan Bond (2015), Yakou Meite (2016), Omar Richards (2017), Danny Loader (2018), Michael Olise (2019)
Nominees: Jayden Onen, Ethan Bristow, Dejan Tetek.
2020 winner: Dejan Tetek. The Anglo-Serbian midfielder is well placed to step into the breach in the year ahead with a number of appearances on the bench already this season.