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FOOTBALL: Former Oxford City youngster in big time with Royals
10:20am Thursday 17th May 2012 in npower League Two Table & Results
Former Oxford City winger Garath McCleary says he can’t wait to pull on a Reading shirt after joining the Premier League new boys from Nottingham Forest on a free transfer.
McCleary, 25, who was born and bred in Blackbird Leys, has signed a three-year deal at the Madejski Stadium after turning down a new contract at the City Ground where he was player of the year.
He scored nine goals in 23 appearances for the Championship side last season, including four in the 7-3 win over Leeds at Elland Road.
A former Oxford & Cherwell College student, McCleary, who also played for England Colleges under 19s, had unsuccessful trials at Oxford United and Leicester City.
After leaving City, he joined Slough in the Ryman Premier League before moving to Bromley where he was spotted by Forest, signing in 2008 after impressing on trial.
“It’s amazing to be at a club like Reading,” said McCleary.
“Being a local boy as well, it’s the stuff that dreams are made of. I can’t wait to pull the Reading shirt on and prove what I can do.”
Ex-Oxford United midfielder and now Royals manager Brian McDermott said: “It’s important that we have brought a player of Garath’s quality through the door.
“We are absolutely delighted to get him. He’s young, has an eye for a goal, he’s very, very quick and has got a real energy about him.
“And he’s a nice lad, so he’ll fit in well with what we’re trying to do at this club.”