Two year deal: Rowan Liburd has signed a contract with Reading FC.

Two year deal: Rowan Liburd has signed a contract with Reading FC.

READING FC have completed the signing of non-league striker Rowan Liburd - who joins the development group on a two-year deal.

Liburd, 22, spent last season at Isthmian Premier League side Billericay, where he scored 22 goals.

The 6ft 4ins forward spent four years in America on a football scholarship, making a name for himself at Georgia’s Thomas University.

He won numerous awards, including the Sun Conference Player of the Year, which covers Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Liburd impressed Reading scouts and was rewarded with a two-year contract as he aims to break into the first-team.

Royals' Director of Football Nick Hammond said, "I’d like to welcome Rowan to the Club, he is a boy we hope can really develop here, and we wish him every success.

"The challenge now is for him to fulfil his undoubted potential, and we have already seen that he has an excellent work ethic and a willingness to learn.

"Those attributes are absolutely vital to any player who wants to make the most of themselves." Life with the Royals got off to the perfect start for Liburd when he scored twice for the Under 21s last week in their 7-0 win over Beaconsfield.

He becomes the sixth new player to join the club this summer following Orlando Sa, Stephen Quinn, Paul McShane, Jonathan Bond, Ali Al-Habsi.

Meanwhile, Reading FC this afternoon confirmed Republic of Ireland defender, Stephen Kelly, will not be returning to the club.

Royals had offered the 31-year-old a new 12-month deal which he decided not to accept.

Boss Steve Clarke explained: “It’s gone quiet. I’ve not heard from Stephen or his representatives for a number of weeks so we move on to other targets.” It has been a summer of major change at Madejski Stadium with a host of players and backroom staff leaving in recently weeks.

Jem Karacan joined Galatasaray, goalkeeper Adam Federici signed for Premier League newboys AFC Bournemouth and his understudy, Mikkel Andersen returned to his native Denmark.

In addition, former captain Alex Pearce has joined Championship rivals Derby County.

Clarke has also made wholesale changes behind the scenes with goalkeeping coach Sal Bibbo, physio Luke Anthony, masseur Dan Buchanan and kitman Selby Armstrong all departing the club.

Clarke replaced Bibbo with Dave Beasant and also brought in ex-West Brom midfielder Steven Reid as a first-team coach.

Hammond added: "As a club, it is important to place on record our thanks to those who left over the course of this summer.

"A number of players moved on, but their development through our Academy means they will always be one of our own.

"We have seen the likes of Adam, Jem and Alex come through our system to play on the biggest stages in the world, and we will always be proud of their journeys.

"And in our staff, Sal, Luke, Selby and Dan represented the club superbly, not just as professionals but also as people.

"I speak on behalf of the entire club when I say that nobody will forget the part that they played in the most successful period in the club's history to date.

"We will always be hugely grateful for the foundations that our former players and staff helped to build.

"And now, we move into a new era and look forward to creating new memories under Steve Clarke with our new players and staff."