BBC BLOGS - Paul Fletcher

Archives for March 2012

Roberts relishes Reading's rise

Post categories:

Paul Fletcher | 12:11 UK time, Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Jason Roberts made the best start of any player in the history of Reading football club when he signed from Blackburn Rovers in January, winning eight straight games.

He scored three goals in his first four matches and his arrival added new impetus to a team that had already cast aside their mediocre early-season form and started to charge up the Championship table.

He slotted straight in and formed an instant rapport with fellow forward Noel Hunt, whose form improved playing alongside Roberts. Striker Simon Church had waited patiently for his chance most of last season and must have thought his time had come once Shane Long was sold to West Brom in the summer. Church found himself back on the bench after the arrival of Roberts but has been fulsome in his praise of the veteran forward and his impact at the club.

"He has been a catalyst to really kick us on," said Church. "He is the nicest guy ever."

Read the rest of this entry

Coventry's boy from Burundi

Post categories:

Paul Fletcher | 15:09 UK time, Monday, 12 March 2012

Gael Bigirimana was walking to the supermarket with his brother to buy some milk when he spotted Coventry City's academy training facility.

The following day he went there and asked for a trial. Slightly bemused, the coaching staff looked at the smiling yet determined 11-year-old with the broken English and explained that the club did not just take on young players who turned up unannounced. He would have to be scouted like everybody else.

Running home afterwards, having left details of the school he attended and buoyed by the promise that somebody from Coventry would come to watch him play, Bigirimana was surprised when a member of the coaching staff stopped him.

"They asked if I had all the equipment, boots, shin pads and stuff like that," Bigirimana told BBC Sport. "I said 'yes' but I did not. They said they saw me running fast but to tell you the truth I was jogging.

"The next day they gave me a trial. It was near the end of the season but they took me on for the following campaign. It must have been a miracle."

Read the rest of this entry

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.