Friday, November 5, 2010

Shane Long deal extends Reading stay

Ireland international striker Shane Long has penned a new contract deal with Reading that will keep him at the club until 2012.

The Tipperary born player was linked with a move to Birmingham City during the summer, but the deal sees the former Cork City star extending his five year stay with the Royals.

Long who scored his first international goal for Ireland in a friendly 1-1 draw against Bolivia in 2007 impressed during last month's European qualifying games with Russia and Slovakia, scoring against Russia in Dublin and putting in a man of the match performance in the 1 -1 draw away to Slovakia.

Royals Manager Brian McDermott said, "I'm delighted Shane has committed to the club by signing a new contract with us.

In this calendar year he has scored 13 goals, more than any other member of our squad, in 2010 he has been a key reason behind our consistent home form, and he continued to make history by scoring twice against Aston Villa in our first FA Cup quarter final for 83 years.

"From a personal point of view, his winner at Anfield in January won us a memorable FA Cup game at Liverpool - a victory I'm sure was instrumental in me getting this job. I am grateful to Shane, as I am to all the players who played a part in that fantastic win.

"People sometimes forget that Shane is still a very young footballer. For a 23-year-old striker, very much still learning his trade in a difficult role, he has done a really good job for us. He is one of our own and I'm very pleased he remains completely committed to Reading Football Club."

Speaking after signing his new Reading deal Long said "I've been at the club a long time and enjoyed every year here. It's nice that the Chairman, manager and club showed faith in me and offered me a new deal. I was delighted to snap it up when I got the chance."

"I enjoy it here, I've been through ups and downs and things are looking on the up since the manager came in. He brought us up from a relegation battle, the club is back on the way up again and it's nice to be part of it."

"This is my sixth season here, I've enjoyed every one and I'm going for a testimonial!"