Harte pumped up for Premier League ride
Published 24 May 2012 16:05 2 Comments
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New deal: Ian Harte with the Championship trophy.
PROMOTION-WINNER Ian Harte extended his Reading career by another year yesterday (Wednesday) - then joked he comes cheaper than a tank of petrol.
The 34-year-old penned a new one-year deal with the Royals following three weeks of negotiations.
It marks an amazing turnaround in Harte's career since becoming Brian McDermott's bargain signing from Carlisle United in summer 2010.
Now, having helped Reading reclaim their place in the Premier League for next season, the ex-Leeds United star is not about to take his foot off the gas.
"I'm delighted Brian gave me the opportunity to come to Reading," beamed Harte. "A lot of managers will have looked at my career and what I did with Leeds United, but that's in the past.
"Brian, though, spent £70,000 to bring me from Carlisle down to Reading. It would cost you that much in petrol."
McDermott's faith in Harte's natural talents and his ability to keep competing in the top flight - eight years since he last played there with Leeds - has certainly paid off.
He briefly lost his place in the Reading team to Joseph Mill last season but soon claimed it back and went on to become a major force behind the club's promotion with five goals in 34 appearances.
Among his goals came a match-winning free-kick at Brighton and a penalty in the 4-2 win at West Ham United during the Championship run-in.
Harte was such a hit that his performances won him a place in the Championship Team of the Year - voted for by fellow professionals - for the second season running with the Royals, having done the same in League One with Carlisle.
And the Drogheda-born left-back admitted that of all the highlights in his career, the last two seasons at Reading cannot be beaten.
"It's been the best two years of my career, for sure," he admitted. "I've played in World Cups and Champions League semi-finals with Leeds, but when I look back in years and years to come I will be able to say I won the league with Reading, and I've got a winners' medal to show for it.
"To get into the Team of the Season for the third year on the trot was another bonus and it's just been an amazing time really, I can't thank the gaffer enough.
"Now I've got another year's contract and it is a weight off my mind and my family's. We love the area, the kids have settled in schools and I'm just delighted it's all over and done with.
"It gives us peace of mind to know it's all signed so I can enjoy my holidays now and look forward to July 5 when we're due back for pre-season training."
This article appeared in Reading Chronicle 24 May 12
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May 24, 16:17
watching Harty at leeds fr many years i must admit when he went to spain i thought his better days were behind him but he's proved me wrong and i think he's one of the best left backs around still !
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May 24, 17:13
When he first joined Carlisle we had to move him from Left back as he could not cut the mustard but when we moved him to centre back he was like a god heading everything making a 50 yard pass like i was 10 yards. And then scoring 19 goals in one season what a player
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