Reading FC Promotion Xl : 2011/12
Where are they now?
This August marks four years since the start of the 2011/12 season where Reading promoted to the Premier League as Championship winners.
I shall be looking at the players who played a key role in that season.
Goalkeeper: Adam Federici
The goalkeeper who was signed from Italian side Torres in 2005, played a huge role in getting Reading promoted that season.
The Australian goalkeeper kept 19 clean sheets playing nearly every game, producing some wonderful and memorable goalkeeping displays most noticeably against Brighton.
Federici is now at Premier League side Bournemouth having left Reading following the expiry of his contract at the end of the 2014/15 season, after being at the club for nearly 10 years.
Right back: Shaun Cummings
The defender who was signed from Chelsea during the Brendan Rogers era, found it difficult to nail a first team spot with Andy Griffin being preferred. However once Cummings got into the starting eleven he didn’t look back, keeping 10 clean sheets in 34 appearances.
Cummings is now at League 1 side Millwall having been sold in the January transfer window of 2015, after falling out of favour with the then manager Steve Clarke.
Centre Back: Alex Pearce
The defender who came through the Royals academy, played a big role in defence for the Royals. Centre half Pearce kept 17 clean sheets and scored five goals along with two assists in 46 appearances.
Pearce is now at championship side Derby, having left Reading following the expiry of his contract at the end of the 2014/15 season.
Centre Back: Kaspar Gorkss
The defender who was signed from QPR in the summer of 2011 for a fee of around £850k, formed a solid partnership with Alex Pearce. The Latvian kept 16 clean sheets and scored three goals in 42 appearances for the Royals that season.
Having been released at the of 2013/14 season Gorkss went on to play for Colchester, before going to Greece to play for GS Ergotelis. Following that he went to the Czech Republic to play for Dukla Prag. Gorkss is now at Latvian side FK Liepaja.
Left Back: Ian Harte
The defender who was signed from Carlise for £100k in the summer of 2010, played a pivotal role in Reading’s promotion to the Premier League. The Irishman kept nine clean sheets and scored four goals, along with nine assists in 32 appearances. An outstanding season for the left back.
Having been released at the end of the 2012/13 season, Harte moved to Bournemouth. Where he helped them have an outstanding first season in the championship and then help Bournemouth to the Premier League.
Having made 500 appearances, scored 72 goals and having 34 assists to his name including a spell at Spanish side Levante. Harte retired from football at the end of the 2014/15 season.
Right Wing: Jimmy Kebe
The right winger who was signed in the January transfer window of 2008 from French club Lens, played a big role in Reading’s promotion to the Premier League. The Malian got 11 assists and three goals to his name as his skill and pace caused defenders all sorts of problems.
In the summer of 2013 Kebe left the club, being sold to Crystal Palace for a fee thought to be around £2 million. Kebe didn’t have much success there, eventually being loaned out to Leeds in January 2014 where he got one goal in nine appearances. Kebe was then eventually released.
To do this day, Kebe is a free agent having been unable to find a club since his release.
Centre Midfield: Jem Karacan
Like Alex Pearce, Karacan came through the Reading academy. Karacan played a big part at the heart of the midfield with his energy and work rate. Karacan got five assists and five goals to his name in 37 appearances. Karacan’s season was unfortunately cut short after he picked up an injury against Leeds in April.
Karacan is now at Turkish side Galatasaray, having left Reading following the expiry of his contract at the end of the 2014/15 season. Karacan has also gone on to win the Turkish Cup since his move to Turkey.
Centre Midfield: Mikele Leigertwood
Following a successful loan spell, Leigertwood was signed permernetly in the summer of 2011. The centre midfield got five goals and one assist in 41 appearances.
Leigertwood was released at the end of the 2013/14 season. Sadly a injury forced the centre midfielder to retire.
Leigertwood is now part of the backroom staff at non league side Hungerford Town as a coach.
Left Wing: Jobi Mcanuff
Signed from Watford during the Brendan Rogers era, Mcanuff played a huge role in Reading’s promotion to the Premier League. The Jamaican got ten assists and five goals in 40 appearances.
Having been released at the end of the 2013/14 season, Mcanuff moved to Leyton Orient where he made 57 appearances and scored six goals.
At the end of the 2015/16, Mcanuff was released by Orient where he is now a free agent.
Striker: Noel Hunt
Signed from Dundee United in the summer of 2008, Hunt played a big role up front with his work rate and his goals. The Irishman got eight goals and eight assists in 41 appearances for the Royals, including a vital goal against West Ham at Upton Park towards the end of the season.
Having been released at the end of the 2012/13 season, Hunt moved to Leeds to re-join manager Brian McDermott. Whilst at Leeds, Hunt failed to score a single goal in 20 appearances for the Whites.
He was then shipped out on loan to Ipswich in November of the 2014/15 season, where he managed to score a last minute winner on his debut for the Tractor Boys against Charlton.
Hunt’s move to Ipswich was made permanent in the January transfer window of 2015. In 12 apperances Hunt got three goals and one assist, before being released at the end of the of the 2014/15 season.
Hunt then moved to League 1 side Southend, where he got four goals and one assist in 21 appearances for the Shrimpers.
Hunt is currently a free agent having been released at the end of last season.
Striker: Jason Roberts
Jason Roberts didn’t have a full season at the Royals during the 2011/12 season having only joined from Blackburn in the January transfer window of that season.
However he did play a huge role in firing Reading to the Premier League, scoring six goals and getting five assists in 17 appearances. Goals that included Roberts scoring against Burnley and the opener against Southampton at St Marys
Having picked up an injury in the 2012/13 season Roberts was forced to retire in 2014 having scored 89 goals and getting 21 assists in 340 appearances across his professional career.
Striker: Adam Le Fondre
Signed from Rotherham in the summer of 2011, Le Fondre had a fine first season at the club finishing as the club’s top goalscorer in that season. Le Fondre played a massive role in firing Reading to the Premier League. He scored 12 goals, along with three assists in 32 appearances.
Le Fondre will be remembered for the goals that he got when coming on as substitute. Goals such as the brace against Leeds United and most memorably the brace against Southampton at St Mary, where Reading won 3-1 to all but seal promotion to the Premier League.
Having scored 27 goals across the next two seasons, including 12 in the Premier League. Reading were forced to sell Le Fondre to Cardiff for £2.5 million in order to pay an unpaid tax bill to HMRC.
Le Fondre didn’t have much success at Cardiff, scoring only three goals in the first half of the 2014/15 season. He was then shipped out on loan to Bolton for the remaining half of the season. Le Fondre had better success there scoring eight goals in 18 appearances for the Trotters, along with one assist.
Last season Le Fondre spent the whole of the 2015/16 season on loan at Wolves, where he scored three goals in 30 appearances, along with six assists to his name.