With another season filed away into the history of Reading Football Club, it is one unlikely to be trawled through often in the future.

But there were times this season that the Royals were a joy to watch- and after a 10-month struggle the club achieved its ultimate aim of Championship survival.

The Reading Chronicle started our End of Season Fan’s Survey and you responded in your hundreds to look back over the course of the 2021/2022 campaign.

In today’s half, we focus on the players.

Whether you love them or hate them, what these men do on the pitch is the bottom line for football clubs as they live out all of our dreams and ambitions.

Without further ado, let’s look back at your results.


Player of the Season


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Earlier in the month the football club, along with the Supporters Trust at Reading, held their official Player of the Season vote and popular full-back Andy Yiadom scooped the award for the first time.

Despite an outcry from a large proportion of the fanbase believing that 11-goal, 13-assist midfielder John Swift should win it- the Ghana international won our award too.

The right-back played 38 times this season and despite being part of a defence shipping 86 goals, the second most in the Championship, his tenacity and bubbly personality has endeared himself to the Royals supporters since his arrival in 2018.

Less than 30 votes separated winner Yiadom and runner-up Swift, who both picked up over a third of the votes each.


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Most Improved Player


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An award given to someone who has gone above and beyond their previous output, this man has single-handedly almost kept the Royals in the Championship with his knack for late goals.

A real fan favourite, most of all because he is such a fan himself, Academy graduate Tom McIntyre picked up almost 40 per cent of the votes in this category.

Another injury-struck campaign, the central defender missed almost the entire first half of the campaign after suffering injury against Coventry City in August.

However, he made his minutes count, doubling his career goal tally notching two stoppage time strikes over the Easter weekend to earn Paul Ince’s side four valuable points.

Making almost 10 more appearances last season as he did this, this is his best campaign to date for matches with supporters in the stands.

The next nearest was fellow Academy graduate Tom Holmes, who again played less than he did last time out but has been a prevalent figure this year with supporters back in the SCL Stadium- and who can forget his scissor-kick against Hull City.


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Best Signing 2021/22


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Although the club have been under Profit and Sustainability regulations and have only been able to sign free agents or loans, 12 players have still walked through the door at Bearwood this campaign.

Seven permanent players arrived on one-year deals, with experienced defender Scott Dann having already renewing for next season too.

Surprisingly it was someone who only 15 times that won our award for the best signing, with son of manager Paul Ince, Tom Ince, picking up almost a quarter of the votes.

His stunning late strike against Bournemouth to snatch a point, and a goal in the comeback against Swansea City, twinned with his work rate and crossing ability have seen him make his mark on the Royals fanbase.

The best permanent addition was Andy Carroll, picking up almost 20 per cent of the votes.

Popular Geordie striker only notched twice for the side, against Swansea and Middlesbrough, but he brought a massive lift to supporters when he was spotted readying on the bench or in from the start.  

Unfortunately, he wasn’t around for long, playing only eight times, but his two disallowed goals in the 7-0 dismantling against Fulham will go down as two of the best disallowed goals of all time.


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Breakthrough Star


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With a state-of-the-art training ground and highly respected Academy, there is always a raft of players breaking through into the first team season on season.

The season did not go the way supporters had hoped for, almost 10 Academy graduates were given debuts this season- a stat to be proud of for Reading Football Club.

Exciting midfielder Femi Azeez picked up the award for this years breakthrough star, despite making his debut last campaign.

Another injury-struck season, Azeez played just 14 times but scored twice, both in the first month of the season, before being struck down with hamstring and ankle lay-offs.

Second-placed Luke Southwood made his debut last season but spent a large proportion of this season as the number one choice before Orjan Nyland’s arrival.

The only teenager to feature in the top three is 18-year-old Jahmari Clarke, who made his debut this season and caught the eye in brief cameos under Veljko Paunovic before scoring two off of the bench to beat Birmingham City in November.


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Most Disappointing Player


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For every underestimated star there must be an overrated star, and this year you feel it was former Liverpool midfielder Ovie Ejaria.

The last signing to command a fee, back in 2019, this is the first campaign in which he has failed to register an assist.

With two goals to his name, both of which came in the stunning 2-1 win over Fulham in September, the former England Under-21s international has failed to live up to his very high expectations set from a season best of three goals and five assists in the last two campaigns.

Still with magic in his boots, he is a joy to watch at times, but his output and overall figures leave a lot to be desired.

He staggeringly picked up 51 per cent of the votes in the survey, with Chelsea loanee Danny Drinkwater in second with almost 25 per cent of the votes.


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