Reading Football Club are delighted to announce that young stars Jake Taylor and Michael Hector have agreed to put pen to paper on new contracts with the Royals.
Versatile midfielder Taylor, who has been at the club since the age of eight, coming through our Academy ranks to earn a regular place in the first team squad under Nigel Adkins last season. The Ascot-born 22-year-old made his first Royals start in an FA Cup tie against Brighton back in January and impressed from the bench in the eight league appearances he made in 2013-14.
Hector, 21, starred for Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership during the first half of the season, and impressed both in defence and midfield when he returned from his loan spell north of the border to firmly establish himself in Nigel Adkins’ first team plans.
The two young players were set to see their contracts expire this summer, but the pair will commit their future to Reading when they each sign new two-year deals with the club on 1st July, terms which will keep them at Madejski Stadium until the summer of 2016 with an option of a third year.
“It’s a good feeling to agree a new deal here at Reading. I’ve been here for a long time and now, to extend it for at least another couple of years, is great,” Jake said after meeting with the Chairman this afternoon.
“It was a simple decision to stay here,” Hector said. “It’s only been a good experience so far and hopefully I’ll have many more to come at this club. I can’t wait for next season to start now.
Although only 21 years of age, Hector has more than 100 appearances to his name after a wealth of loan experience, the most recent spell coming in the Scottish Premiership; Michael became a fans’ favourite during his loan spell with the Dons, scoring an excellent goal in a 4-0 win over Partick Thistle and helping Derek McInnes’ men in the early part of their journey to a Scottish FA Cup semi-final berth and League Cup Final victory last season. His good form saw the Royals recall him back to Berkshire at the end of his loan spell in January.
The 6’4″ defender scored at Anfield in Reading’s under-21s’ 2-1 victory over Liverpool and made his first team bow as a substitute in our 7-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers. Having helped ten-man Reading earn a big win at QPR, his first start came in defence in a 1-1 draw at Brighton – and he went on to record 4(+5) appearances in blue and white hoops last season.
Taylor, meanwhile, made his Royals debut back in August 2010, but following a series of loan spells he burst back onto the first team scene under Adkins in 2013-14. He was included in the Royals’ 18-man squad on no fewer than 21 occasions last season, making 1(+8) appearances in total.
His contributions included an hour in midfield at Millwall after Hope Akpan’s first half injury in the 3-0 win back in February, and an exquisite cross in the dying stages at Doncaster which allowed Pavel Pogrebnyak to head the Royals into a last gasp lead and earn three valuable points at the Keepmoat in April.
Director of Football Nick Hammond said, “Both Jake and Michael are excellent young players who made a real impact at first team level towards the end of last season, so I am delighted they have committed their future to the club and I wish them every success in their futures at Reading.”