Reading boss hails 'phenomenal' Edwards

Reading boss Nigel Adkins has labelled the club’s in-form Australian attacking midfielder Ryan Edwards as "phenomenal" after an exceptional pre-season start.

Edwards, 20, impressed in all three of Reading’s pre-season games so far, scoring the winner in the 1-0 triumph over Exeter earlier this month and providing assists in their past two matches.

The Sydney-born talent returned to the Madejski Stadium after spending last term on loan at Perth Glory.

Edwards’ impressive form appears now to have shot him into first-team calculations with the Royals ahead of their Championship opener against Wigan on August 9, following glowing comments from Adkins.

“From day one when we did the fitness tests, we saw him and thought we’ve got a player here who can run all day long,” the ex-Southampton boss told Get Reading.

“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.”

Adkins’ praise of the Edwards didn’t stop there, claiming the Australian youth international is growing in confidence.

"Ryan has been really impressive since he came back from a loan period last season,” Adkins told the Reading website.

"He's got a desire to get into goalscoring positions, to break from midfield and he works ever so hard, he's growing in confidence."

The praise comes only days after Edwards told Get Reading that he felt his one-year loan stint at Glory had made him a better player.

Edwards made 15 appearances for Perth in 2013-14, but was caught up in the middle of a player revolt amid claims of nepotism which led to the dismissal of his father, Alistair, as coach in December.

“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.”

The Royals have two more pre-season fixtures against Stevenage (July 30) and Swansea (August 2) where Edwards will hope to press his first-team case ahead of their Championship opener against Wigan.