Royals Academy graduate James Henry has extended his contract until June 2010.
Right winger Henry, currently on loan at Norwich, is yet to make a league appearance for the Royals, but has shown enough promise for the reserves and a loan spell at Bournemouth to earn a contract extension.
With young prospect Simon Cox leaving for Swindon in January, the productivity of the Academy had come under scrutiny amongst Reading fans, but with Henry signing an extension and fellow youngster Alex Pearce earning rave reviews, it seems that the current crop of youngsters could finally make the grade.
Nick Hammond commented on Henry extending his contract, ‘We’ve been very pleased with James. He is really maturing both as a player and a person, and his loan spells have allowed him to gain invaluable league experience. Next season we will be looking for James to challenge for a regular first team place here.’
Henry himself expressed his delight at extending his contract. He said ‘I am delighted, this is fantastic news for me, getting a new deal.
‘Now it’s up to me to prove I can push for a place in the team.’
The faith that the club has shown in Henry suggests there is hope for the Academy yet, although a cynic may suggest that they are perhaps preparing themselves for potential life in the Championship.
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