READING FC striker Andrija Novakovich has signed a new two-year contract and will spend next season on loan in Holland.

The 20-year-old finished top of the scoring charts for Royals Under 23s last season with 16 goals in 33 games.

But with his first-team chances limited at Madejski Stadium he has been loaned out to Eerste Divisie outfit SC Telstar in order to gain further match experience.

Despite an impressive goalscoring record, Novakovich has made only two senior appearances for the Royals from the bench having joined the club in April 2014.

The USA youth international spent a brief loan spell with Cheltenham Town in late 2015 and has since been the mainstay of Martin Kuhl's Under 23 team.

His five goals in the Premier League Cup last season helped take Royals all the way to the final.

The Wisconsin-born forward penned a new deal until summer 2019 over the weekend and is now training with Telstar, who finished 16th in the Dutch second division last season.

Meanwhile, Reading are one of 16 invited Under 21 teams set to compete in this season's Checkatrade Trophy.

They secured their place due to the club's Category One Academy status and will compete against 48 clubs from Leagues One and Two.

Newcomers Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Fulham have been included in next year's competition and will be joined by 11 other Premier League Under 21 teams plus four from the Championship – Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Fulham and Reading.

Royals Academy Manager Lee Herron said: “The Checkatrade Trophy offered some great experience for our young players and it gave them exposure to different situations and environments than the ones they are used to.

“Our goal is to keep preparing these young men for a career in professional football and it can only be a good thing for their development and our club if they get to play in these kinds of games where there’s a lot at stake and a different kind of pressure than the usual youth football which they play.

“We have certainly felt the benefits of being involved in the competition and I am pleased we will have the opportunity again in the 2017-18 season.”

The draw for the group stages is due to take place soon with the first round scheduled for the week beginning Monday, August 28.