Boss Admits Aussie Moves

Last updated : 10 March 2003 By Rob Cooper
If all goes to plan the Madejski Stadium could host full internationals before the end of the month.

Reading Football Club have admitted that they are in talks with the Australian FA about a possible move that will see the Australians playing their 'home' games several thousand miles from Australia in Reading.

The Aussies are looking for a European base so their squad can meet up more often. Many of their players play in English leagues so playing in the UK would be more convenient.

Reading FC spokesman Boyd Butler confirmed that discussions have taken place.

"We have been in talks with Australia officials and we are hoping to stage their games at the Madejski Stadium, which we feel would be an ideal base for the Socceroos. Nothing has been decided at this stage but talks are ongoing."

QPR and Watford are also believed to be interested in staging Australia's matches. Whilst they have the advantage of being located in London their inferior stadia could count against them.

If all goes according to plan the Madejski Stadium, dubbed the 'Mad Stad', could host the Socceroos proposed clashes with Argentina and Cameroon. These matches are expected to be played on March 30th and April 30th.

If Argentina were to come to town it is likely that the Madejski Stadium would be packed to the rafters as eager supporters aim to get a glimpse of internation stars such as Juan Sebe Veron, Gabriel Batistuta, Javier Zanetti and Javier Saviola. Another big crowd would be expected for the Cameroon game.

Meanwhile, the club have confirmed that 16,000 tickets have already been sold for Wednesday's game against high-flying Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Molineux based side were sent crashing out of the FA Cup at the Quarter-Final stage on Sunday, beaten 2-0 at Southampton.