Congratulations to James Holden – a former Colt and son of our Vice Chair Ian Holden – who signed his first professional football contract in the summer, with Reading FC.
James was a Colt from U7s through to U15s, when he moved to Wingate & Finchley. He became a goalkeeper at the age of 9, and was coached by Martin Chisholm (of last season’s U18 Sporting) and Johnny Maginn, who continues to coach our Inclusive squad.
Since U16s, James has played for Stevenage, Luton Town and Bury’s youth teams. He was part of Bury’s successful U18 team that reached the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup, finally being knocked out by eventual winners Liverpool. James was promoted to become a member of their first team squad, but disaster struck when Bury were expelled from the Football League.
James received offers from a number of academies before choosing to finish his scholarship with Reading. A successful loan period in non-league followed, and James came back from a serious ankle injury to captain Southampton’s U18s in his final game as a youth player before lockdown. James signed his first professional contract in the summer, and is currently a member of Reading’s U23 squad competing in Premier League 2. Congratulations James!