Brett's officially a Royal

By Wendy Gee -

BRETT Williams’s move from non-League Eastleigh to npower Championship promotion chasers Reading has officially gone through.

The 23-year-old frontman from Hedge End penned a one-and-a-half-year contract in the presence of Royals’ chairman Sir John Madejski yesterday afternoon.

“I’ve got butterflies,” admitted the former Wildern School and Eastleigh College student afterwards.

“I sat down with Sir John Madejski, signed all the paperwork and then I was given my shirt and taken onto the pitch for photos with manager Brian McDermott.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all, but it’s really exciting,” grinned Williams, who has given up his job with Eastleigh-based travel company Airlynx Express to follow his footballing dream.

Incredibly, Williams’s move to Reading – a steep rise of four tiers up the football pyramid – has been done and dusted in little more than a week.

The Royals watched him score twice for Eastleigh at Lewes in the Blue Square Bet South on Saturday, January 8, and invited him for training on the Monday.

He then impressed in a reserve game against Colchester 24 hours later, scoring in a 2-0 Reading victory.

The deal, believed to be worth around £50,000 to Eastleigh, was agreed at the back end of last week pending a medical, which was successfully completed yesterday morning.

Williams is currently commuting to Reading from Hedge End but is looking to relocate to the Basingstoke area.

His uncle Steve Brookwell, an Eastleigh FC director, said: “It’s amazing.

“Brett took a 50 per cent drop in wages when he came back to Eastleigh from AFC Totton at the start of the season because he believed Bairdy (Eastleigh boss Ian Baird) could get him to the highest level and Bairdy has been true to his word.

“When I first joined Eastleigh as a director, Brett was at Winchester City at the time, and Bairdy always said ‘we’ll make a professional footballer out of him.’ ”

Williams becomes the fourth player sold by Eastleigh to a professional club during Baird’s time in charge. He follows in the footsteps of Damian Scannell, Mark Marshall and Saints’ Aaron Martin.

http://www.readingfc.co.uk/page/Gallery/0,,10306~2269731,00.html

Photo from Reading FC - http://www.readingfc.co.uk/

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