Former Reading FC captain, Jem Karacan, has revealed that he would “bend over backwards” to return to the club in some capacity.

At the club since the age of 14, Karacan broke through under Steve Coppell and spent seven years in the first team, famously a first-team regular in the 2011/12 Championship winning team.

Now occasionally a guest summariser on BBC Radio Berkshire’s coverage of Royals matches, Karacan cares deeply about the future of the club.

Speaking exclusively to the Reading Chronicle, the 33-year-old said: “It’s been a real downer round the place, and it’s been hard to see. The frustrating thing is knowing that there are people who were once involved who could probably be helping now.


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“It’s great to see Noel with the Under 23s and Ledge with the first team coaching because they’re Reading through and through. To see them go in the door and things pick up a bit is something that would happen if more were to go back there.

“Reading have always been a club that need people giving 110% and no egos. They might need to bring in a Director of Football who can use their experience and contacts. You look at Brian [McDermott] and Steve [Coppell] who would probably come back at a drop of a hat. Can I see it happening? Probably not.

“People like Jobi [McAnuff], who absolutely love the club, are there and I think the club need to lean on their experience.

“I’d bend over backwards to go back and be a part of it and give it everything I’ve got. I know full well I could offer more than some have this season, but it is what it is, football moves quick.”

Making his first team debut in 2007, the former Bolton Wanderers and Millwall player played over 200 times for the club before leaving to join Galatasaray in 2015.

Karacan insisted he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to play in Turkey, the country for which he played his international football, but wishes he didn’t leave in the circumstances he did.


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He added: “When I knew it was the end was when I was told Sal Bibbo, Luke Anthony and Dan Buchan, people I’d been with my whole time, were moving on. It didn’t sit right. They were people who would give everything for the cause and absolutely loved the club and still bleed blue and white.

“The club weren’t giving me the security and as soon as Galatasaray came in with a three-year deal, I had to do it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and knowing how things had gone I probably wouldn’t do it, but I had to go and experience new things.

“Being a part of Ryan’s Royals was an absolute honour. When you look back at Reading’s recent history it was a proud thing for the club to be part of.

“To play a part in the FA Cup semi-final was great but it wasn’t the end I wanted, or the likes of [Alex] Pearce and Feds [Adam Federici], leaving the club in not a great place.”

With Championship football all but secured for another season, attention for many now turns to the future.

More than half of the squad are out of contract and with financial punishments still wrapped around the club’s neck it looks unlikely that many will stay on.


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One deal Karacan believes needs to happen is a certain Tom Holmes.

He explained: “A massive part of the club is the academy. You can see that with [Tom] McIntyre and [Tom] Holmes, who is probably a future captain. It could be like me and [Alex Pearce] Pearcey vying for being the skipper.

“You’ve got two people there who are set up to lead the club for the next 10 years. You need to get Holmes signed up; he’s had an incredible season.

He’s had ups and downs but hats off for how he’s dealt with it, he’s been thrown in at the deep end and for him to be playing week in week out, it’s no surprise he’s had people in for him.”