Josh Barrett has left Reading FC after 15 years with the club.
The 21-year-old forward has been with Reading since the age of six but after failing to break into the first-team, he’s decided to leave the club.
He still had a year-and-a-half left on his contract but with game-time becoming a rarity, Barrett will go on the hunt for a new club this month in search of regular first-team football – Bristol Rovers have been linked with a move for the striker.
It was an emotional goodbye from the Oxford-born Barrett, who posted this message on his Instagram:
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Just wanna say a massive thank you to @readingfc for the last 15 years of my life. So many good memories and I’ve met some of my best friends along the way. Also a big thank you to my team mates for all there support and I wish you all the best for the future👊🏼 And a big shoutout to all the fans who have supported me from day 1. I’m excited for my next adventure now. UP THE DING💙
Barrett signed his first professional contract with the club in 2015 and made his debut for the following year under then-manager Brian McDermott.
Uneventful loan-spells with Coventry City and Aldershot Town have since followed for Barrett but to no avail, and he leaves Reading with only two Carabao Cup goals to his name, both coming against Plymouth back in August.
The forward chose to represent Ireland at international level and has done so for their U17 and U21 sides.
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It looks likely that Barrett will now have to drop down a league or two to find regular first-team football. Bristol Rovers could be a good destination for Barrett, who deserves praise for not wanting to sit out his Reading contract on the bench, and instead wanting to play football regularly.
Reading fans will be sad to see a homegrown player leave, but they’ll respect his decision and wish him all the best.