DAVE Jones is delighted that Michail Antonio is on form and hopes that Reading do not need to exercise at some stage the 24-hour recall clause that was a condition of the winger’s loan move.
“He’s a young player; he’s learning his trade; there’s no better place to learn your trade than in someone’s first team,” says the Owls manager.
But the former Cardiff boss believes that the development of players such as Antonio, who was 22 on Wednesday, would be aided if English clubs could adopt feeder clubs.
He explained: “It’s a shame that in this country we’re not allowed to have a feeder club.
“When I was in Wales, we could never meet the Welsh sides because we weren’t in their competitions.
“It would have been great if we could have picked up one of those non-league sides. We looked at ways of maybe taking over one of the clubs and playing our players in it. Then you have the hassle of dual ownership, and who are they contracted to?
“I think in this country we need to look seriously at maybe allowing it. I think it would breed even better players, because there’s no better thing than playing in front of a crowd, being in a first team and learning the trade.
“When they play within competitions at youth and development level, it’s never really the real thing.
“We have to look at all different ways of maybe loaning the youngsters out, giving them that experience and seeing if they’re capable of doing it, and if they’re not then they fall back into the safety net here until they are.”
Reading are second in the Championship after 10 wins in their last 12 games and the Owls hope the Royals will manage without Antonio.