Reach aims for Boro spot

Adam Reach is aiming to become a first-team regular at Middlesbrough after returning “a man” after last season’s loan spells.

The lively left-winger, who represented England at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup last summer, believes he is now ready to stake his claim in the Championship after honing his skills on loan at Shrewsbury Town and Bradford City.

“That’s my aim this season – to nail down a regular starting place,” the 21-year-old told The Gazette.

“I’ve worked hard in pre-season, I’ve played in a lot of the games and I’ve scored a few goals. I think I’ve shown I’m ready.”

Reach, who has also been capped at U19 level for his country, has been in impressive form throughout pre-season. 

He struck a sensational goal in Boro’s 3-1 win at Rochdale – which can be seen below – and believes his new-found maturity is the key to his performances.

“I think I am a better player now. I’ve matured a lot over the last year and I’m ready to step up.”

Reach, still eligible for Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 squad, played 22 games and hit three goals at Shrewsbury. 

He followed it up with two goals in 17 outings for Bradford last season – but he is looking to cement his spot at Boro this term.

“It was hard last year because I had a few spells out on loan,” he added.

“I was living away from home, learning to fit into different squads and different styles but I think I grew up and I learned a lot from it.”

He continued: “I went away a boy but came back a man. I hope my days going out on loan are over. I’m ready to challenge for a starting place now.

“I know there are some good players here but I believe I am good enough to compete and to be part of this team.”

Reach will be hoping to be part of manager Aitor Karanka’s starting line-up on Saturday when Middlesbrough host Birmingham City in their opening game of the season.