Lewis Ward - Margate (National League South) Appearances: 2 Clean Sheets: 1
Reading's young goalkeeper joined Margate on a short term loan deal, running until the January transfer window, at the beginning of August. Making his debut in their season opener, Ward kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Bath City. Two days later he doubled his season appearances, this time starting in a 2-0 defeat to Chelmsford City.
George Legg - Hungerford Town (National League South) Appearances: 2 Clean Sheets: 2
It's been a blistering start for George Legg at his latest loan club, Hungerford Town, since signing on a season long loan at the beginning of August. He saved a penalty (below) in his side's 1-0 triumph over East Thurrock, and followed that up with a second clean sheet in as many days during Monday night's 2-0 win against Oxford City.
Prior to the start of the season, Legg spoke to thenonleaguefootballpaper.com about his prior experience in the National League, and what's to come during his season at Hungerford:
"Last season was a great learning curve for me both on and off the field, so I’m keen to push on with Hungerford this season to refine more aspects of my game."
"I was made aware of the opportunity to potentially play for Hungerford back in May, as Bobby Wilkinson, their manager, has good connections with Reading and many of its players, so he knew of me.
"After gaining promotion via the play-offs, Hungerford’s players will obviously have a lot to prove in the National League, so it’s a great shop-window opportunity for the management team and players to show people what they’re about and to make a name for themselves, including me.
"I enjoyed my loan spells last season, but as a young goalkeeper it’s important to keep challenging yourself until the opportunity arrives to make that step up, which for me will be in the National League or the Football League. When that opportunity presents itself, I need to be ready to take it with both hands."
Paulo Hurtado - Vitória de Guimarães (Liga NOS) Appearances: 0 Goals: 0
Hurtado has struggled since signing for Reading almost a year ago to the day, starting only once for the club, in last season's League Cup defeat to Everton. He was sent out to Vitória de Guimarães at the back end of that same season, and he's re-joined the Portugese club on loan until the end of the season. Vitoria's first competitive fixture of the season will be on August 12, and Hurtado will be looking to make his first appearance of the season.
Sean Long - Cambridge United (English Football League Two) Appearances: 2
Having spent three months at Luton last season, Reading's young full-back feels he's more than ready to hit the ground running at Cambridge, having joined on a short-term loan deal at the end of July. Speaking to the club's website, Long shed some light as to how his move came about.
"I spent a week with the team in Holland and felt very welcome so I’m delighted to be here."
"Shaun Derry and Joe Dunne have both spoken to me and I want to be a part of Cambridge United for six months. The time in Holland gave the Manager some time to look at me, obviously I did something right, so it’s great to have nailed something down at the club.
"There is a very good group of players and the way they took me into the squad felt like I had been here for years, I look forward to working with them regularly over the loan spell.
"I have played in League Two before so I know what to expect. Now that I’m a Cambridge United player I’m keen to achieve plenty of things in this division, so I’ll see where I can go from the start of the season.
"I’ve got a little bit of time now to work hard in training and give the Manager something to think about for when he’s selecting his side."
Long deputised for the club in their opening game of the season, playing 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Barnet, before playing the full 120 minutes in Tuesday night's fantastic 2-1 extra-time win over Championship high-flyers Sheffield Wednesday in the EFL Cup.
LOAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Two clean sheets, a penalty save and 180 minutes for George Legg helped his new Hungerford team-mates to the top of the National League South, and it was also enough to give him the first 'loan player of the week' award for the 2016/17 season.