Date: 30th June 2008 at 1:11pm
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A major moan amongst the Reading faithful has always been the lack of opportunity the Royals youngsters get in the first team.

In recent years, the only academy players to have got anywhere near the first team have been Darius Henderson, Nathan Tyson, Jamie Ashdown and Simon Cox, all of whom have now moved on.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding hte current crop of youngsters and following successful loan spells, this season could be the time for the rising stars to shine.

Robson Hal-Kanu, Alex Pearce, Jem Karacan and Alex Pearce are all looking to break into the first team this term, with Pearce and Henry at the front of the queue.

Royals boss Steve Coppell has admitted he would like to see them make the grade, but has insisted they will only be picked on merit, not as a good will gesture.

He said, ‘We have a number of younger players who are not too far away.

‘It would be brilliant if one or two of them could make the step and actually play a role, but that has to be based on ability, not on sentiment.

‘We will be looking for some of them to make an impact, and we’ll have a smaller squad but bigger demands.’

 

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