Saturday's game against Shrivenham marked a special moment in our partnership with John Madejski Academy's Football Performance Programme as it was the 100th consecutive game that a JMA player has been in the matchday squad.
Since we launched our partnership with JMA on the 3rd September 2018 many of their students have been given the opportunity to play men's football by either featuring in our Under 23s team or First Team. As a result of this opportunity, many of those who have come to play for Reading City Football Club from JMA have had international call ups and been spotted by other teams, often higher up the football pyramid.
Saturday marked a significant milestone in our partnership as it meant that for the one-hundredth consecutive game a JMA player was in the first-team squad. During these one hundred games, over 30 players from the John Madejski Academy have featured.
This does not include the players who have played for our Under 23s, who are also 28 consecutive games. With the addition of our new development squad this season, we hope that we can help JMA progress more players.
The partnership also sees John Madejski Academy players compete in the FA Youth Cup as Reading City Under 18s, giving local youngsters a fantastic opportunity to play in a prestigious competition.
Year after year the partnership gets stronger and stronger and with JMA's Director of Football Michael Butcher also being a member of the club in his dual role as player and assistant manager, the partnership will only continue to grow stronger.
Club Chairman Martin Law had this to say:
"Great opportunity for all involved, shows how development and transition from you to adult should take place. Congratulations to all involved".
Reading City Football Club Player/Assistant Manager and JMA's Director of Football Michael Butcher had this to say:
"It's been a long time and involved a lot of support and hard work to get to this stage. I'd like to thank First Team Manager Simon Johnson and Under 23s Manager Deano Jones for their part in this journey, along with Club Chairman Martin Law and Treasurer Victoria Pyke for their work behind the scenes. Thanks also to all the players and staff past and present at JMA".