Hayden Mullins comes home to Reading FCBy Jonny Fordham
March 16, 2012
Reading lad Hayden Mullins claims that it will be a dream come true to pull on the blue-and-white hoops of his hometown club.
Royals have snapped up the versatile midfielder on loan from cash-strapped Portsmouth until the end of the season.
And 32-year-old Mullins could go straight into the squad to face Barnsley at Oakwell tomorrow (3pm kick-off).
The former Crystal Palace and West Ham star was keen to join the club last season when boss Brian McDermott expressed an interest.
But Steve Cotterill, Pompey’s manager at the time, refused to sanction the deal.
Mullins, who grew up in Whitley and went to Ryeish Green school, said: “It’s always been my dream and ambition to play for Reading.
“Ever since I started playing I really wanted to play for Reading and being from the town it’s a fantastic opportunity for me to join a club on the up.
“The move nearly came about last year, but I wasn’t allowed to leave Portsmouth then.
“I don’t want to come here and upset things. I just want to be a part of things and if needed I will do a job for the manager.
“I won’t come here and demand to play. I know all about the club and would love to sign here permanently, but there’s a long way to go yet.
“With the state of things at Portsmouth, it was hard leaving the dressing-room where the boys are fighting for their lives.”
McDermott spoke of his delight at finally getting hold of his man, saying: “He’s a good guy and he’s everything that we’re about as a club.
“He can play in three positions. I’ve known him for years and it’s a good signing that reinforces the depth in this squad.
“At this stage of the season it’s important for me to have a guy with experience who has played in the Premier League.
“And I’m sure the fans will love him with his Reading connections.”
Mullins’ nine-year-old son Maxwell is already part of the Reading Academy set-up.
And Royals’ new recruit said: “At his age he is definitely better than what I was.
“He’s a striker and scores all the goals.”