Writer: Chris Kitley
Date:Friday September 26 2008
Rising star Jem Karacan has revealed that joining Reading was the best decision he ever made.
The U21 Turkish International had trials with Galatasaray and Manchester United but opted to sign for Reading and has never looked back.
Karacan has been patient during his time at Reading and his beginning to make his mark on the first team after four successive league starts.
He told the club's official site
'I was born in Lewisham, south London, and my mum is English and my dad is Turkish. When I was seven I signed for Wimbledon, I stayed there until I was 14 when they moved to Milton Keynes. With the travelling and so on it's hard, then I had a lot of trials after that.
'I went out to Galatasary and they offered me a four-year deal but I couldn't go out there at only 14, not speaking the language and so on. My dad's a Galatasary fan though so I think he wanted me to go out there, he was cancelling my flights coming back!
'I was at Manchester United and playing in a trial game against Reading when I was first spotted by Nas Bashir. Nas and Geoff Warner have been brilliant, bringing me through, and also Eamonn Dolan and Michael Wallace.'
'There's a group of us who have been together since 15 or 16, Pearcey, myself and James Henry, we've been training with the first team for a couple of years and they've been great to us. We've been giving what the coaches want from us and have been out on loan.
'We were at Bournemouth last season, that was great experience, it was like Reading reserves at one point! It was a shame they ended up relegated, we always speak about our experiences there.
'I've played for Turkey from under 17s to 21s, I made my 21s debut in Armenia last month. I'd already played there for the u19s and said I'd never go back! The two countries aren't friendly, we had a police escort everywhere, the abuse and the atmosphere was a new experience!
'I qualified for England too but Turkey came in first and there's more chance of playing for them. Most of the squad are Turkish, there's a couple of Germans and one Dutch but not many speak English, only swear words!
'My dad hasn't taught me much Turkish yet. He and my mum own a cafe next to Charlton's stadium, I had a season ticket for a year until they got relegated! I think Alan Curbishley came in a couple of times when he was there.
'For me, joining Reading is the best decision I ever made. I was at Manchester United but it's a blessing to come here and hopefully make a career for myself.
'I was living in digs in Woodley first, that was great and now I've moved in with Scotty Golbourne.
'Hopefully I've done OK in the few games I've played and I want to keep doing that.'
Jem will almost certainly start in the Royals league game at home to Swansea on Saturday and will be hoping to notch his first league goal for the Royals.
Date:Friday September 26 2008
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