Monday 24 October 2016

Stephen Quinn has premier vision for royals

Stephen Quinn
Stephen Quinn
Robbie Brady and Stephen Quinn
Steve Clarke

IRELAND international Stephen Quinn has already tasted life as a Premier League player with two different clubs.

And the Dubliner says it was the lure of top flight football, with a third set of employers, which made him decide to join Reading.

While some of his international team-mates have limited options as they face into a summer - even a future - of unemployment, Quinn's form with Hull City and Ireland meant that the 29-year-old was in demand.

Hull boss Steve Bruce was keen to keep Quinn at the Tigers, Cardiff City and other Championship teams were linked, and if he had held out for a few weeks Quinn may even have landed himself a move to a Premier League side.

But while some teams were only willing to give out a two-year deal, Reading's offer of a three-year contract won him over, while the player himself stresses that it was the club's ambition of being back in the top flight which finally made his mind up to sign for boss Steve Clarke.

"The Premier League is the promised land. It's where every player wants to ply their trade. I'm included in that. This is such a massive club and it isn't long since it's been up there. We want to be pushing to get back there, starting next season," Quinn said after sealing his move to the Berkshire club.

READ MORE: Republic of Ireland star Stephen Quinn joins Reading

"I'm really looking forward to a new chapter in my career with Reading, I'm really excited to be down at such a big club.

"Everything about the club attracted me; the ambition to get back into the Premier League and the manager, who came and met me in the close season and spoke very well.

"He made me feel very wanted. He likes my style of play and how he wants to play the game is mirrored by that. He didn't have to say too much to more after that because my heart was set on it after then.

"Obviously, the manager has worked with some of the best players in the business and his track record is excellent. His philosophy on how he wants to play the game is something that I'm looking forward to working with."

Quinn had already played top-flight football in Ireland before his move to England as a teenager as he made one appearance for St Patrick's Athletic, in 2004.

In only his second season with Sheffield United he was playing in the Premier League and he made 15 Premier League appearances in the 2006/07 season for the Blades.

Having dropped into the third tier with Sheffield United (2011/12) he moved on to Hull and in his debut season with the Tigers helped them win promotion back to the Premier League.

The Dubliner joins a club with a strong Irish presence - despite the recent exit of Alex Pearce to Derby - as Simon Cox is in the first team squad, the Royals' U21 panel contains a batch of young Irish talent (Niall Keown, Pierce Sweeney, Sean Long, Shane Griffin and Conor Shaughnessy).

Former Ireland man Steven Reid has joined the coaching staff at the club since his retirement while ex-U21 cap Eamonn Dolan has returned to his role as head of Reading's youth academy after a spell as first team coach.

Quinn has become the fifth current international to change clubs since the end of last season, following earlier deals for James McClean, Kevin Doyle, Darren Randolph and Alex Pearce. Darren O'Dea, Noel and Stephen Hunt and Richard Dunne are all free agents.

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