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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues Under-21s host Reading

John Dempster's U21s side take on the Royals...

23 August 2022

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues Under-21s host Reading

John Dempster's U21s side take on the Royals...

23 August 2022

The Sky Blues take on Reading this afternoon in their first fixture of the 2022/23 Professional Development League.

Venue: Alan Higgs Centre
Kick-Off: 1pm
Date: Tuesday 23rd August 2022
Competition: Professional Development League




Following an independent audit, Reading saw their academy status downgraded from Category One to Category Two for the 2022/23 season.

This means Reading will be part of the Professional Development League for the first time, meaning a first encounter between the Royals 21s and the Sky Blues Under-21s for a long time.

Reading are in the Southern section of the PDL and currently sit 7th after two games, winning one and losing the other.


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Coach: Noel Hunt

Reading Under-21s are led by former Republic of Ireland striker Noel Hunt, who was appointed in the role earlier this year.

The 39 year-old began his coaching career as Swindon Town assistant manager in 2018, a role he spent two years in position, also enjoying short spell as caretaker manager.

Doncaster Rovers were his next destination, linking back-up with Richie Wellens at the Keepmoat Stadium, but it would be a short stay, with Hunt departing seven months later.

Noel then returned to Reading in February 2022 to become Senior Professional Development Phase Coach, marking his return to the club he made 162 appearances for and scoring 39 goals across the Championship and Premier League.


This Season:

This will be City’s season opener in the Professional Development League, as they start the defense of their title.

The Sky Blues won the PDL last season, beating Bristol City 3-2 at Ashton Gate to secure the title for the first time.

City’s opponents Reading are two games into their season and currently sit 7th in the Southern section of the PDL.

Defeat to Sheffield United in their first game was followed by a reaction in their second outing, beating Burnley 2-0 last week.


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Connection: Dom Hyam

Sky Blues defender Dom Hyam is a graduate of the Reading Academy, having risen through the ranks with the Royals.

Dom joined Reading aged 12 and was an integral part of the youth side who reached the Premier Academy League final in 2013, when he was rewarded with his first professional contract.

Hyam was sent out on loan to Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Dagenham & Redbridge, Portsmouth and Aldershot Town, before leaving Reading and joining the Sky Blues in 2017.

Since his arrival, Dom has helped City to victory in the League Two Play-Off final, the League One title and now establishing the Sky Blues in the Championship.

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