Australian midfielder Ryan Edwards has starred in all three pre-season games at Championship club Reading, with manager Nigel Adkins describing the youngster as “phenomenal”.
After a mixed loan spell in the Hyundai A-League with Perth Glory last season, the 20-year-old has returned to his parent club in the hope of forcing his way into the first-team.
And Edwards is certainly making his mark, starring in all three of the Royals’ pre-season friendlies.
He scored the winner in the 1-0 win over Exeter earlier this month while provided assists for goals in the last two matches.
“From day one when we did the fitness tests, we saw him (Edwards) and thought we’ve got a player here who can run all day long,” Adkins told www.getreading.co.uk
“Then when you see him on the pitch, his movement is phenomenal.
“He’s always showing for the ball, always looking to get into space and get between the lines. He’s got a penetrating pass on him as well.”
"Ryan has been really impressive since he came back from a loan period last season.
"He's got a desire to get into goal-scoring positions, to break from midfield and he works ever so hard, he's growing in confidence."
Only in the last few days Edwards spoke about his time in the A-League and how the whole experience – including seeing his father Alistair sacked as coach mid-season – made him a stronger person and player.
“This is my fourth year at Reading,” Edwards said.
“The first two I came through the reserves and got used to the English type of football. Then going back to Australia was really good for me, to get experience and be treated as a first-team player.
“That’s definitely made a real difference since coming back here. I feel really amongst it now with the first-team boys. I feel a real part of it.”
Reading have two more friendlies against Stevenage (July 30) and Swansea (August 2) before their opening Championship match of the season against Wigan on August 9.
Both Edwards and Aussie goal-keeper Adam Federici are in line to be in the starting side for the start of the league campaign.