Brian McDermott managed Reading from 2009 to 2013.
He began work at the club as far back as 2000, working as Chief Scout for then Alan Pardew’s Reading. He eventually succeeded Brendan Rodgers as first-team manager in 2009 after success in managing the reserve team, and guided Reading to the Championship title in 2012.
He was then sacked in March of 2013, despite claiming the January Manager of the Month accolade, and Reading were eventually relegated finishing 19th.
McDermott returned to Reading midway through the 2015/16 season, but was sacked again after six months. He gave the club some great memories though, and here’s three players from his Reading sides who would walk into Mark Bowen’s current Reading team:
Quite possibly Reading’s greatest ever import – Sigurdsson joined the club from his native Iceland in 2005, signing an academy scholarship and spending a further three years in the youth team set-up, before breaking onto the scene in his debut 2009/10 season.
His first game for Reading came in the 2008/09 Championship season, but he only made a few cup appearances, and didn’t feature in the league.
But at 19-years-old, Sigurdsson would score twenty goals in all competitions in the 2009/10 season, earning him a move to German side 1899 Hoffenheim shortly after the start of the 2010/11 campaign.
His career has since taken him from Tottenham Hotspur, to Swansea City and Everton – he’d no doubt be the first name on Bowen’s team-sheet today.
Another Reading great, and someone who was present at the club throughout McDermott’s first tenure. Kebe, now 36-years-old, spent six seasons at Reading from 2007 to 2013, making 188 appearances and scoring 31 goals.
But he was a hugely important player under McDermott, and an influential member of the team during both their Championship and Premier League days. A right-winger, Kebe in his heyday would walk right into this Reading team.
Adam Le Fondre
A poacher if there ever was one – le Fondre was at Reading from 2011 to 2014, making 110 appearances and scoring 41 goals across all competitions.
The 33-year-old now plays for Sydney FC where he boasts an impressive goals record, and throughout his time in England, he always seemed to score goals.
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He was a crucial part of the Reading side that gained promotion in 2012, though most expected him to struggle in the top-flight. But he proved a lot of people wrong when he netted 12 times in the Premier League – his first and only stint in the top-flight to date.
Bowen has some decent strikers to choose from today, but an in-form le Fondre, in his prime would walk into most teams in the Championship today.