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Reading manager Steve Clarke to give youngsters an opportunity in pre-season

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Reading manager Steve Clarke says he will give the under-21 squad a chance in pre-season as the club travel to Thailand for a number of friendly games.

Clarke is prepared to utilise youth

Clarke is prepared to utilise youth

The Royals endured a poor season last year where they only finished 19th after just missing out on the play-offs the year before.

An FA Cup run all the way to a Wembley semi-final against Arsenal got fans excited, but it didn’t help their league woes.

With questions still being asked over the financial situation at the club, the club may not have the means to bring an influx of players to the Madejski Stadium this summer.

However, they’re renowned for having a superb academy who have created stars such as Premier League playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson, and the Royals youngsters gained promotion to the Under-21 Premier League this year.

Clarke says he recognises the achievements of the development squad this season, and will give them a chance in the first team during their preseason fixtures, telling the clubs official website: “It will be a very young squad that travels to Thailand.

“Obviously if we can get one or two transfers over the line before then, then great. But if not then there is going to be a lot of space for the U21s, who did fantastically well to win promotion to the top division.

“There’s going to be an opportunity for them to come and work with the first team, travel, get a lot of experience and for me to see them up close.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of work with them in the coming weeks, which is great for me. This is a chance for them to break into the first team squad just like Jack Stacey and Tariqe Fosu did last year.”

Reading fans… What do you make of this news? Are you glad to see some youngsters being blooded? Let us know in the comments below!

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