1st Team Goalkeepers: Adam Federici (27), Alex McCarthy (22), Mikkel Andersen (21), Jonathon Henly (19)
A lot like the club he plays for, Adam Federici returns to the Premier League looking like a stronger and more streamlined version of what we saw a few years ago. Reading have had a couple of years in the wilderness, but last season’s form suggests they’re well able for life in the Premier League. The same can be said for the Australian.
The ‘chubby keeper’ cliché can be frustrating, but there’s no doubt that Federici was a little on the heavy side in recent seasons. He was still incredibly agile and his reactions got him out of a lot of trouble, but he has shed the extra pounds and his performances have benefited from it. He retains his ability and he’s coming into his prime. If the Royals are to avoid going straight back down, Federici’s good form is going to need to continue. The good news is, there’s every chance it will.
Behind him in the pecking order is Alex McCarthy. Thanks to Federici’s declining weight, McCarthy has been forced to wait for his chance. McCarthy has been on the radar as a hot prospect for a few years now, but he hasn’t had too many chances at the Madjeski Stadium. The young Englishman has been at the club since 2007 and no less than eight loan spells elsewhere in a bid to build up his experience. On a number of those spells, he’s impressed and he is genuine competition for the starting role at Reading. He’s tall, agile, assertive and his handling is assured. He really is player of immense potential and should be able to fill in if Federici struggles or is unavailable.
Mikkel Andersen has a very similar profile to McCarthy. He’s young, talented and been shipped out to build up his experience. Again, he has been praised for his performances during this loan spells, but he’s unlikely to get too much playing time in the Premier League this season. Another loan spell is likely.
There’s a lot of things to be happy about as Brian McDermott looks to re-establish the Royals in the Premier League. If Federici delivers, that task will be a whole lot easier. If he doesn’t, it could be a big year for McCarthy. Either way, Reading have a strong hand when it comes to their custodians.