New Reading signing Sam Hutchinson admitted that the challenge of the coming season is one he can't wait to get stuck into.

The former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder is a key member of the Royals squad already, featuring in central defence for every pre-season friendly and even wearing the captain's armband in place of Andy Yiadom on occasion.

Signing a two-year deal after impressing while out of contract, the 32-year-old is loving life in Berkshire.

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"It’s a nice homecoming," he beamed. "I’m from Windsor so I used to pop down here when I wasn’t playing and watch when I was a kid. I’ve had friends that have come here, and I scored here on my 30th birthday so it’s always good memories.

"I’m delighted. It took a while to get over the line, but I knew I was staying so it was nice. Everyone has treated me really well; I couldn’t thank everyone enough."

Never one to shurk a challenge, much-loved at Hillsborough for his full-blooded tackles, Hutchinson feels the situation off-field with the Royals made it a more attractive proposition.

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"It’s a challenge, and I will never shy away from a challenge. To be successful at this club this year, to stay up and be part of something and together in that dressing room, my character is good for that. It’s important we all stick together at the club; it’s going to be a tough season, but we’ll try our hardest day in day out.

"Nothing fazes me, I just wanted to play football in an environment that was comfortable and near my children. If you would have asked me when I left Sheffield Wednesday where I would want to go, it would’ve been Reading. I can’t speak highly enough of the club."