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READING fans are used to sitting out transfer deadline day watching other clubs make exciting signings, and wondering what might have been - but not this year. Royals made three top-notch acquisitions in the last 24 hours before the transfer door closed, all loan players, but some with the newly-trendy dimension of a “loan fee”. Those, however, were offset by the £4million sale of centre-half Michael Hector to Chelsea, with an immediate loan back to see out the season with Reading. The Monday night arrival of Brazilian Lucas Piazon from Chelsea was followed by the deadline day completion of loans for Watford’s proven Championship scoring ace Matej Vydra and the Dutch winger Ola John, from Benfica.

It brought the total of summer signings to a remarkable eleven, the new Thai owners fulfilling their promise to back the judgement of manager Steve Clarke, and giving him the best possible chance of a serious crack at promotion. The new faces are keepers Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan) and Jonathan Bond (Watford); defenders Andrew Taylor (Wigan, loan) and Paul McShane (Hull); plus midfielders Stephen Quinn (Hull) and Alex Fernandez (Espanyol, loan); along with wingers Paolo Hurtado (Pacos de Ferreira) and Ola John (Benfica, loan); and strikers Orlando Sa (Legia Warsaw), Matej Vydra (Watford) and Lucas Piazon (Chelsea, loan).

It’s a truly sensational effort by the club - but Clarke’s problem now is how to knit them together to make not only a team, but one with the team spirit which can see them through the crunch games. Already the Royals have started the season as good as unbeaten, having suffered only one defeat in seven league and cup games, and that an absolute freak at Birmingham. All these arrivals mean the end of the road - or at least a long spell on the sidelines for some “original” Reading players. Just seven of the 14 who took the field for Royals against Arsenal at Wembley are still with the club and one of those, Hector, is now technically not RFC property. The likely starting eleven now could be along the lines of…. Bond; Gunter, McShane, Ferdinand, Taylor; Hurtado, Quinn, Williams, Piazon; Sa, Vydra. The subs choice then would be Al-Habsi, plus Fernandez, John and four from the “old Royals”, Hector, Obita, Robson-Kanu, McCleary, Blackman, Norwood, Cox. It also shuts the door firmly on promising Academy graduates such as Dom Samuel, Tariq Fosu, Jake Cooper, Jack Stacey and Aaron Tshibola.

Some of those will surely follow out of the loan door Aaron Kuhl, who will spend the season with Dundee United. It’s surely certain that some of the older, now surplus, players, will also go out either on loan or as “free agents”. It’s hard to see where, for example, Simon Cox would now get a game or even Hal Robson-Kanu, despite being an established, and successful, international. It could yet be a fun season!

RAIN OR SHINE? COMPREHENSIVE WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE READING AREA (Met Office)
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IN A JAM? READING TRAVEL INFO INCLUDING TRAFFIC CAMS AND BUS DELAY INFO (Borough Council)
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LIVE CAMERAS AND INCIDENT UPDATES ALL ALONG THE M4 CORRIDOR IN BERKSHIRE (BBC Travel)
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STOPPING ON THE WAY? FOR MOTORWAY AND A-ROAD SERVICE AREAS (M'way Services Online)
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A DIFFERENT SLANT ON ROAD HOLD-UPS - AS REPORTED ON AN APP PEER TO PEER (Waze)
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LIVE RAIL DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL BOARDS FOR READING AND LOCAL STATIONS (National Rail)
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BUS SERVICES PUTTING THE DING-DING IN READING AND AREA (Reading Buses)
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IF YOU'D RATHER GO ON FOOT, HERE'S A HANDY GUIDE TO WALKS IN THE READING AREA (iFootpath)
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FLYING FROM HEATHROW - AIRPORT DIRECTORY AND OTHER KEY INFO (Heathrow Airport Guide)
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WHAT’S THE TIME WHEN WE GET THERE? CHECK THE CLOCK FOR ANY MAJOR CITY (Time and Date)
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ROAD TO THE AIRPORT - TIMES AND DETAILS FOR READING RAIL-AIR LINK TO HEATHROW (Railair)
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FLYING FROM GATWICK - PARKING, FLIGHT INFO AND SHOPPING (Gatwick Airport)
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FLYING FROM LUTON - ALL THE INFO ON THE GROUND AND AIR SIDE (Luton Airport)
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FLYING FROM SOUTHAMPTON - DOWN THE M3 AND UP, UP AND AWAY! (Southampton Airport)
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IF THE SEA TURNS YOUR TUM LET TRAIN TAKE THE STRAIN - FRANCE BY UNDERGROUND (Eurotunnel)
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NATURALLY, they did it the hard way - but Reading’s first league win of the season is safely in the bag. After dominating the first half and taking their interval cuppa with a 2-0 lead, Royals lost their way a little after the break. They conceded soon after the hour mark, then had to withstand a storm of pressure from a Brentford side which was hoping to replicate their previous home game, where they came from two down to draw in added time. There was another goal in added time this time - but it was Reading who got it.

Hero of the day so far as the goals-for column is concerned, was the man Royals fans used to love to hate, Nick Blackman. Nowadays they love to love him because right from the start of the season he has been Reading’s only in-form striker. It was Orlando Sa who gave Reading the lead on 16 minutes with a superb header, his first goal for the club. Blackman doubled the lead just after the half-hour from a brilliant 25-yard free kick. He curled the ball, left-footed, way out of David Button’s reach, and it was Button, who kept Brentford in with a chance with a string of fine saves. Afterwards Blackman revealed how hard he and Ollie Norwood had been working on free kicks with goalkeeping coach Dave Beasant.

At half-time Reading swopped the ineffective Hal Robson-Kanu for the potentially more-dangerous Garath McCleary, but the pendulum swung the other way, with Brentford having more of the game. They pulled one back on 67 minutes through Lasse Vibe, a Danish international star who is surely too good to be playing at this level, and for the first time in the game really stretched the Royals’ defence. Those not at the game, but following it on Sky Sports or Radio 5, must have thought “here we go again…” when, deep into added time, came the ominous words “there’s late drama with another goal at Griffin Park…” But it was OK, Blackman had won a penalty - and, unlike so many Reading spot kicks in recent years, he actually scored it to seal a memorable day out in the M4 derby. Match Picture Gallery.





THE Royals’ squad shuffle has continued with the club revealing they have released striker Pavel Pogrebnyak so that he can return to Russia to join Dynamo Moscow. The Pog, who was rejuvenated during the second half of last season after Steve Clarke’s arrival, still had a year remaining on his contract, but the big “elephant in the room” has been the reputedly huge salary awarded to the former Fulham striker by Anton Zingarevich. The unofficial guessing on that started at about £40,000 per week and went up as high as £75,000. Even if it’s somewhere in between, Reading could put as much as £3million back in the kitty now that they do not have to cover his wages. On that basis it’s unlikely there was anything but a modest fee - if any - involved. CLICK the headline above for the club statement.


AFTER a 24-hour wait, Reading FC learned that Everton will be their opponents in the third round of the Capital One Cup at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday September 22 (8pm). And on the evidence of Wednesday’s remaining second round game, Everton will need to raise their game if they are to avoid getting turned over by the Royals. Roberto Martinez’s side were taken to the brink by League One Barnsley, who led 2-0 at half-time and 3-2 later in the game before Everton scrambled an equaliser and added two more against tiring opponents in extra time. Nearly all the big guns were out there for Everton, and they needed them to break the spirit of a brave Barnsley side who even hit the woodwork at 4-3 down in extra time. FULL DRAW: Middlesbrough v Wolves; Norwich v West Brom; Hull City v Swansea; Leicester v West Ham; Aston Villa v Birmingham; Tottenham v Arsenal; Manchester United v Ipswich; Liverpool v Carlisle; Crystal Palace v Charlton; Fulham v Stoke City; Sunderland v Manchester City; Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday; READING v EVERTON; Preston v Bournemouth; Walsall v Chelsea; MK Dons v Southampton. In the draw, on Tuesday’s Sky Sports News, Charlie Nicholas drew the home teams and Phil Thompson the aways.
















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CLICK YOUR CHOSEN WEBSITE FOR THEIR CONTENT

Trinity Mirror-owned former Reading evening newspaper, the Post, has now been consigned to publishing history - T.M. decided the way forward is only via its getreading website.
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The oldest - now only - newspaper in the Reading, started life in the early 1800s as the Berkshire Chronicle - recently sold to the Newsquest group.
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First published in 1885 as the Henley Free Press, the locally-owned Henley Standard has been a front-runner in the electronic era with some consistently lively multi-media output.
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The Newbury Weekly News was first published in 1867 but was among the first locally to embrace the internet with extensive coverage under its Newbury Today brand.
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The Wokingham Times was that area's longest-established newspaper, but is no more. Website, getwokingham, styled like Reading stable-mate getreading is now the only outlet.
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The stable-mate of the Reading Chronicle and the Slough Observer has been serving south-east Berkshire for 50+ years and its website keeps up well with the news from its patch.
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First published in 1869 and once had an enviable circulation larger than the town's population - still thriving and fiercely independent, it is also fully multi-media.
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Founded in 1812, and apart from a brief spell, the Express remained a family independent. It is again, acquired in 2008 by family-owned Baylis Media Ltd of the Maidenhead Advertiser.
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Founded in 1878, the Basingstoke Gazette went through it's first 99 years family-owned. Today, owned by Newsquest - part of the multi-media American-based giant Gannett.
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BBC Radio Berkshire has the benefit of Government funding for its county-wide broadcast and multi-media coverage - website perhaps not the powerhouse it should be.
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After many name and image changes, the south's commercial TV operation has found stability. It has a good website - plus TV from Fred Dinenage and Reading's Sangeeta Bhabra.
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Reading's "community" radio station, previously part of Sir John Madejski's empire, has a lively site, with news, and features about its output. Now part of the zany Jack FM brand.
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Reading Borough Council has spruced up its PR and corporate multi-media in recent years and issues frequent media news releases on the key community subjects.
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The University of Reading, in its 111th year, is in the top one percent of uni's worldwide, and its frequent news releases reflect its highly-acclaimed research work.
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A hyperlocal news operation with focus on positive people-led stories that, publishers say "will encourage, inform and inspire." Now also publishing The Wokingham Paper after demise of the Times.
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There are several "Readings" in the USA - best-known is 88,000-population Reading city northwest of Philadelphia - it's local paper is the Eagle, backed up by its dot.com version.
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From another "Reading, USA", 16 miles north of Boston is The Advocate newspaper which feeds an excellent news service into its equally-excellent website, named Wicked Local.
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News aggregator which trawls the www for any story with the word "Reading", so can occasionally throw up book-reading topics - but it's a good source of interesting items.
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CLICK CHOSEN CLUB LOGO TO LINK TO THEIR LATEST INFO

Keep up to date with all things Royal - info about the club, the team, tickets, souvenirs and more, including interviews and subscription video.
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Unofficial Reading FC website with plenty of well-written comment, positive and negative - but always constructive. Named after the old "Home End" at Elm Park.
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More than 200 former Reading players and managers are in the Association - the website has interesting info about great names of Royals' and Biscuitmen's past.
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Reading's senior semi-pro football club play Hellenic League home games at Scours Lane, Tilehurst. Had a tricky 2014/15 season but hoping for better things.
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Reading's adopted top-flight Rugby Union team, survived two recent relegation scares - but better times are likely to be ahead after new investment.
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Reading's most consistently-successful sports club runs 11 men’s and seven ladies’ teams. Elite squads at the top of the domestic game and many international stars.
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Reading Cricket Club operates in tandem with the adjacent Reading Hockey Club, providing a two-pronged elite sports operation at the extensive Sonning Lane site.
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The club performs solidly in the National South West Division One (East) alongside Newbury. Founded in 1898 as Berkshire Wanderers, they still field a Wanderers XV.
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Originally for youngsters from non-rugby-playing schools, Abbey went senior in 1956, acquired a 22-acre site at Emmer Green and are now successful.
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Founded 1926, now nicknamed The Rams, Redingensians was originally for former pupils of Reading School. Teams in all age groups - 2014/15 champs SW Nat League 3.
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Has promoted cycling in Berkshire since 1974. With over 200 members, it is dedicated to giving cyclists the opportunity to race, ride and enjoy two-wheel life.
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The club has a long and proud history with past Olympic stars such as Ann Packer, Bev Callender and Britain's most successful-ever female sprinter, Kathy Smallwood.
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Provides after school clubs, school holiday courses, birthday parties and much, much more for boys and girls from the age of 5-14, in and around Reading.
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A friendly community rowing club located on one of the best stretches of the upper Thames, with access to 6km of river from Caversham Bridge to Mapledurham.
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Founded as recently as 1997, Rockets had spectacular lift-off and now run age-group, ladies and seniors teams. Unfortunately senior team out of action because of stadium difficulties.
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The legendary (and still going strong at 81) Reg Fearman brought Speedway to Reading in 1968. Smallmead closed in 2008 but Racers faithful still have a website.

AND OTHER SENIOR SPORTS CLUBS AND VENUES NEARBY…

The Magpies have an extremely proud, and unique football boast - their York Road ground is the world's oldest football ground used continuously by the same club.
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Basingstoke share Maidenhead's status in Conference South - and they have some lively local derbies. Mascot Stokie is even taller than a certain Kingsley Royal!
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Few sporting venues match the history or rich heritage of Ascot. Queen Anne, staying at Windsor Castle in 1711 who first saw the potential for a racecourse.
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Newbury Racecourse is more than 100 years old, combining heritage with a modern sports/events venue. Constructed in 1904/05 - at a cost of £57,240!
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Although the local area has racing links to dating back to Henry VIII, the first race meeting here was not until 1866. The only figure-of-eight flat course in the country.
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Ice Hockey has been thriving in Bracknell for many years, with Bees playing home games at the John Nike Leisure Centre. Ambitious new team management in place.
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Basingstoke Bison play in the English Premier Ice Hockey League. Founded in 1988 as the Beavers, the club has sustained the sport in the town successfully since.
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The Hawks are one of the leading clubs in the Thames Valley, among the top 50 in the country - 2014/15 champions of National League 2 South after winning first 14 games.
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Bracknell RFC has an illustrious pedigree, founded in 1955 by Welsh and Cornish men new to the New Town area. Now in London and SE National League 3.
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The Blues, a focal point for the West Berkshire rugby community, are always competitive in South West Division One (East) - finishing sixth 2014/15.
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News from The Reading Guide
31/12/2012 CLICK HERE > > > > >
more...
29/12/2012 BREAKING NEWS: LINKS TO THE TOP LOCAL SOURCES - AND READING USA
28/12/2012 SPORTS NEWS LINKS: CLICK FOR THE LATEST FROM THE ROYALS, IRISH AND OTHER CLUBS
12/01/2010 YOUR CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH TV PROGRAMMES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - THE FULL SET

Reader Poll
READING FC have gone into partnership with the Turkish club Galatasaray in a move designed to further the interests of both clubs. Is this link a good idea?

Poll started 27/02/2013. Vote to see the results.
      YES - Galatasaray is one of the giant clubs in Europe and to be in partnership with them is a massively prestigious step. Royals can swap scouting ideas, tactics and commercial information.

      NO - It has disaster written all over it. Galatasaray may be a big club, but it has a tarnished reputation for the behaviour of some of its fans. What happens when the Royals next play Leeds who had fans killed in Istanbul in 2000?

What's On - 03rd SEP 2015
Leisure, Cinemas
CINEMA LISTINGS - WHAT'S SHOWING WHERE AND WHEN IN READING

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THAMES STORIES - ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY

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MANYDOWN FAMILY FUN - INCLUDING MAIZE MAZE!

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OLIVER!

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GREYS COURT AND THE DE GREYS

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LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE

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DINO HUNTER

Local Information,
DUCHESS OF KENT CAKE-OFF

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BEFORE THE PARTY - STARRING TOM CONTI AND GWEN TAYLOR

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MUSEUM SURGERY

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SEAMUS FOGARTY - PLUS KABLEKNIT

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