There were high hopes for Jack Stacey when he came through the Reading FC academy to make his first-team debut for the Royals in a win over Ipswich Town in 2014.
Stacey went on to make six appearances in total for the Berkshire-based side, whilst also spending time out on loan with Exeter City and Carlisle United.
But the youngster was surprisingly sold to Luton Town in June 2017 for an undisclosed fee, and it’s safe to say that the 23-year-old hasn’t looked back since.
Stacey has played a key role in the recent success of the Hatters, and has gone on to win back-to-back promotions with Luton in recent years with Championship football on the table in August.
In an exclusive interview with Football League World’s Jacob Potter, Stacey admitted that his dream was always to make his debut for the Royals first-team.
“I was at the academy when I was eight years old, and ended up making my debut when I was 18, so it was almost ten years of going to the games, and watching the first-team players and wanting to be in their shoes.
“To make my debut for the club was very, very special.
Stacey also paid tribute to former Reading under 23’s boss, Eamonn Dolan, who passed away in 2016 for the influence he had on his career.
“For everyone that has worked under him, he’s had a huge influence on everyone’s career, personally mine as well, he was there the whole time I was there.
“I owe a lot to him for the position I’m in now. I can’t understate the impact that he’s had on my career.”
The right-back revealed that he is looking forward to returning to the Madejski Stadium next season, after winning promotion back into the Championship with Luton Town who have been impressive in this year’s campaign.
“I’m looking forward to it, as I’ve still got a lot of friends still at the club, so it’ll be good to play at Championship level.
“Maybe there’s that element of trying to prove myself to them that I can play at that level, even though Reading didn’t think that at the time.”