Former Reading favourite Jordan Obita admitted it is 'not nice to see' what is happening at his former club.

The Academy graduate spent 20 years at the club, from the age of six, and went on to make nearly 200 first-team appearances.

On the fringes of the 2011/12 Championship winning team, the winger broke through in 2013/14 as a full-back and won the Player of the Season in his first year as a regular.

Going on to appear at Wembley Stadium twice, most recently during the 2017 play-off final against Huddersfield Town, he left on a free transfer in 2020 after two decades as a Royal.

Speaking exclusively to the Reading Chronicle, the current Hibernian full-back looked back on his ups, downs and life away from Berkshire.

Jordan Obita on his early career

"I joined back in 2001 and they had a really good group of players, like Shaun Goater and James Harper who had done really well over the years. I got to grow up in a good academy with some top coaches and to develop that way was really good. Starting from the age of eight and leaving at 26 is pretty good.

"The year Brian [McDermott] won it, the squad was unbelievable. Just as good as the one that won it in 2006. I was around it and was lucky enough to go on the parade and see players like Jem [Karacan] and Churchy [Simon Church] and Pearcey [Alex Pearce] come up through the academy and win something. It made me want to try and do the same thing, unfortunately, I didn’t get to do that, but we were one penalty shoot-out away from getting a promotion with ‘my’ squad. It was really good to be around these players who achieved so much in their careers.

Jordan Obita on his best moments

"We just missed out on the play-offs by a goal or two and I never would have thought that I would break in and win Player of the Year that year, because we had a great squad that year. Being so young and playing out of position, having the belief from Nigel Adkins was massive.

"Nearly 200 games for Reading, but I nearly missed two whole seasons with injury so it could have been a lot more. It’s incredible to play that many games for the club that you started with. As I’ve moved on, I do look back and appreciate everything I did at the club.

My first year and the year we got to the playoffs [stick out]. We were unlucky not to go up that year, with Newcastle and Brighton in the league, two teams that are regulars in the Premier League now. If there were weaker teams in that league, we might have got automatics, but we didn’t get there in the final. I was grateful to play in a lot of good teams over the years at Reading.

Jordan Obita on his Reading exit

"I knew at some point it would come to an end, but that it didn’t come in front of the fans was disappointing. I think I’ve faced Reading once in the season after with Wycombe at Adams Park and again it wasn’t in front of fans. I didn’t get to see anybody or say my goodbyes. I always knew at some point it would have to happen, but unfortunately, it was without the fans."

Jordan Obita on departing with Garath McCleary and Chris Gunter

"We wanted to stay but unfortunately, we couldn’t agree on a couple of things and eventually, they took the contract away, which is part of football. We got our careers back on track again. Unfortunately, Chris Gunter decided to retire but me and Garath McCleary are still playing now and have done well since leaving so we are probably happy with how our careers turned out."

Jordan Obita on the current situation at the club

"It’s not nice to see a club that I had 20 years at going backwards like they have. Unfortunately, it’s because of people higher up in the club. It’s bad for the fans because they’re not used to seeing this. Modern fans are used to seeing more success than others. "

"While I was at the club you could see with certain people that it was probably going to head in that direction, but as a current player you can’t say much about it and as a former player, I don’t like speaking too much about it. You just hope they do well this year. With a team full of youngsters, it was always going to be difficult. I do watch a few games and I don’t know what’s going on in-house, but it doesn’t look great.

"When we were at Wycombe, me and G [Garath McCleary] would be saying ‘What the hell’s going on?’ This is a club that was always fighting for promotion or trying to push for the playoffs, so it’s just unfortunate. I don’t want to talk bad about the club because it made me a professional football player."

Reading Chronicle:

Going on to play nearly 60 times for tomorrow's opponents, Wycombe Wanderers, after his Reading exit, the defender missed out again in the play-offs but admitted it reminded him of his early time with the Royals.

"It reminded me of the old Reading, especially when Brian McDermott was there," he said. "Down-to-earth people who wanted to work hard every day and have some form of success. That is what Gareth Ainsworth brought to the club and I believe it is still exactly the same under Matt Bloomfield. He was with Gareth Ainsworth for a very long time. To get our careers back on track there was perfect: it was local, Championship football and a very competitive League One team pushing for the play-offs every year."