Vital Reading looks at the prestigous squad back in 05/06 and what they are up to these days!
It seems such a long time ago since Reading thumped the Championship back in the 2005/06 season, winning with a record 106 points, which is yet to be beaten to this day. Vital Reading looks at the prestigious squad back in 05/06 and what they are up to these days!
Marcus Hahnemann – Currently playing at Seattle Sounders – The former American international is now playing his trade in the United States, a move he dreamt of at some point in his career. Hahnemann joined Wolves following his release from Reading in 2007, before joining Everton in 2011, but failed to make a single appearance. It`s good to see Marcus still playing at 41 years of age, following in the footsteps of fellow American goalkeepers Brad Friedel and formerly Kasey Keller.
Graeme Murty – Retired – Currently coaching at Southampton`s academy – The former Royals captain will go down as a legend of the club, being the first captain to lead Reading into the Premier League and spending over ten years at the Madejski Stadium. After retiring from football in 2010 due to a persistent injury, Murty went into coaching with his last club, Southampton, and works with as their assistant youth development coach.
Nicky Shorey – Free agent – The former England international made a return to the Madejski Stadium last season, after a four year absence, but did not have his current contract extended beyond last season. Shorey has more recently had trials with Brighton and Millwall, but is yet to nail down a move. Either way, he will go down as one of the best left backs in Reading`s history.
Steve Sidwell – Currently playing at Fulham – The tenacious midfielder is probably still going the strongest out of the 05/06 bunch and it`s no real surprise. After failing to nail down a regular place at Chelsea or Aston Villa, Sidwell opted to move south again to Fulham, where he seems to be enjoying his football again. He is regularly linked with a move back to the Royals, but it never seems to work second time round.
Ibrahima Sonko – Currently playing at Akhisar Belediyespor – ‘Superman` has had FIVE different clubs since leaving Reading back in 2008, but is now playing his trade over in Turkey. Sonko has still been troubled with persistent knee problems, which affected his playing time at Ipswich Town. He had a trial with the Royals two seasons ago and was offered a contract to return to Berkshire, but was not impressed with being offered a £2,000-a-week contract – who can blame him!
Brynjar Gunnarsson – Currently playing / coaching at KR – Many won`t forget his Old Trafford header or Liverpool nutmeg, but Bryn is still playing at 37 years of age. He remained with the Royals in 2013 with a playing and coaching role, but in March, he opted to end it where it began, back in Iceland at KR (the name is too long to put in).
Glen Little – Free agent – The tricky winger is now three months short of his 39th birthday, but following his recent release from Wrexham, he still wants to continue his playing career. Little had just one season at Portsmouth, where he rejoined Reading for a short loan stint in 2009, before moving onto Sheffield United, then Aldershot town. With his technique, Little could probably play until he is about 50!
Leroy Lita – Currently playing at Swansea – The 28-year old divided opinion among some Reading fans for his attitude, but still chipped in with some important goals in a Reading shirt. Lita is expected to leave Swansea soon and possibly complete a move to Sheffield Wednesday, where he enjoyed a successful loan spell last season, so there is a high likelihood he will make a return to the Madejski Stadium this season.
Stephen Hunt – Free Agent – Another casualty of those who left Reading for the top flight and now find themselves scrambling for a club. The 31-year old was most recently at relegated Wolves, but his contract expired, with fans expressing their delight at this. Hunt has been linked with a reunion with brother Noel and former manager Brian McDermott at Leeds, but would be lucky to be playing regularly at Championship level next year.
John Oster – Free agent – The usual scapegoat for Reading fans in the relegation season of 07/08, is now currently without a club, following his release from Barnet recently. The former Crystal Palace winger may not have been the most technically gifted, but never lacked in effort. Outside of football, Oster is now running a nutritionist store online.
Dave Kitson – Currently playing at Oxford United – The 33-year old left Reading back in 2008 for a figure around £5 million, but like many others, failed to establish himself as a Premier League player. Like Glen Little, he rejoined Reading for a short loan spell back in 2009, before moving to Portsmouth in 2010. Following his recent release from Sheffield United, Kitson made the move to local rivals Oxford United and reportedly turned down two Championship clubs to make the move.
John Halls – Retired – The former Arsenal youth player only featured twice in the league for the Royals, but was still a part of the squad at the end of the day! Halls had many loan spells, before sealing a permanent move to Brentford in 2008. After his tenure in London failed to work out, he moved to Aldershot and then to Wycombe, before injuries mainly finished off his career. These days, the versatile midfielder is currently working on his fashion business.