Former QPR defender 'looking forward' to new chapter with Reading

Anton Ferdinand SAFC

Former QPR and Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand is delighted to be starting a new phase of his career with Championship side Reading.

The 29-year old defender was last seen playing in England for Queens Park Rangers, with whom the former West Ham youngster spent a two year spell.

Like his brother, Manchester United and England legend Rio Ferdinand, the younger of the pair progressed through the Hammers' youth academy, going on to make 138 league appearances for the first-team, before joining Sunderland in 2008.

His spell with QPR was interjected with a seven game loan spell at Turkish club Bursaspor, before he completed a free transfer to fellow Turks Antalyaspor in August 2013. Despite agreeing a three-year deal the then-Super Lig club, Ferdinand left his contract following their relegation to the First League.

A rumoured deal to Thai Premier League side Police United failed to come to fruition - despite being unveiled as a new signing - before the move to Reading was confirmed.

Despite signing yesterday, Ferdinand is unavailable for tonight's League Cup fixture against Newport County whilst he awaits his international clearance. Having also not played much football in the last 12 months - Ferdinand featured just three times for Antalyaspor last season - it may be a few weeks of intense match training before the centre-half is involved in first-team squads.

Despite this, the former England Under-21 international is raring to go, and he is keen to prove himself to all the doubters that he has had in the last few years.

Speaking to the official Reading website, Ferdinand said: "It feels fantastic to sign for a club like Reading. The first thing you feel when you come here is that it's a family environment.

"I've been away from English football for a year and had some tough times. Turkey is a fantastic place to go and play football, but certain things off the field didn't allow me to enjoy my football. That chapter is closed now, and I've opened a new chapter at Reading and I'm looking forward to it.

"I've got things to prove, to myself and everyone. A lot of people have written me off and doubted me because I've been away for a year, but I'm here to prove to people that I can offer a lot to English football. I want to offer what I can to Reading, and hopefully that means promotion.

"I'm champing at the bit to play my first game. I don't know when that will be as I'm lacking match fitness - I'm a bit behind the boys. I'm going to train hard, and when the gaffer thinks I'm ready, then I'll be ready."

At the age of 29, and with more than 300 career appearances across the top two divisions of English football, Ferdinand still has time to prove himself. And, with Reading shipping 56 goals last season - and two on the opening day of this one - the Royals may just need someone who is willing to express themselves on the pitch.

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