Ian Harte set for new Reading FC dealBy Jonny Fordham
April 25, 2012
Ian Harte is poised to sign a contract extension at Reading after being named in the Championship Team of the Year for the second season running.
Surprisingly, the 34-year-old left-back was the only Royals player to be named in the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) best XI, despite Brian McDermott’s side winning the Championship with one game to go.
Harte, who has played 33 times this season and weighed in with four goals and 10 assists, is set to put pen to paper on a 12-month extension.
“I spoke to the gaffer last week and he wants me to stay, which I’m delighted about,” Harte told the Reading Post. “Hopefully it will be resolved in the next few days, there shouldn’t be any issues.”
Harte has now been included in a PFA team for the third year in a row and the fourth time in total.
He was named in the League One team two years ago after netting 18 times for Carlisle United.
Then following his £75,000 switch to Reading he was selected for a superb debut season with the club during which he scored 11 goals.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to have my fellow professionals vote me the best left-back in the Championship,” he continued.
“I’m absolutely delighted. We didn’t start the season too brightly, I then found myself out of the squad and had to fight to get back in.
“Since I have come back in the team have kicked on and we have gone on a tremendous run and kept a lot of clean sheets.
“We’ve got the best record in the league and have won the league.
“It’s a bit of a disgrace (for only one Reading player to be in the best XI), but I’m chuffed to be in it. The most important thing is that we all have Championship medals.”
And Harte, who will pick up his first ever league champions medal the day after Royals’ final game of the season at Birmingham City on Saturday (12.30pm kick-off), said this moment would go down as the pinnacle of his career.
He added: “This is my first medal as well and at 34 years old, I’m absolutely delighted.
“This is the best feeling ever and best moment in my playing career, – even better than World Cups and Champions League semi-finals.
“I’ve always wanted to look back and show the kids something I’ve won. We want to finish the season on a high now at Birmingham.
“All the fans will be there in a party atmosphere and we want to finish well.”