Anton Ferdinand signs for Reading

Anton Ferdinand poses in his new Reading shirt

Anton Ferdinand poses in his new Reading shirt

First published in Sport Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

READING have completed the signing of former West Ham, Sunderland and QPR central defender Anton Ferdinand on a two-year deal.

The 29-year-old, who cost Sunderland £8million in 2008, most recently played for Antalyaspor in Turkey, but has been out of the English game for a year.

He becomes the third player to join Reading in the past week, joining strikers Simon Cox and Jamie Mackie at the club.

Ferdinand said, "It feels fantastic to sign for a club like Reading. The first thing you feel when you come here is that it's a family environment.

"I've been away from English football for a year and had some tough times. Turkey is a fantastic place to go and play football, but certain things off the field didn't allow me to enjoy my football. That chapter is closed now, and I've opened a new chapter at Reading and I'm looking forward to it.

"I've got things to prove, to myself and everyone. A lot of people have written me off and doubted me because I've been away for a year, but I'm here to prove to people that I can offer a lot to English football. I want to offer what I can to Reading, and hopefully that means promotion.

"I'm champing at the bit to play my first game. I don't know when that will be as I'm lacking match fitness - I'm a bit behind the boys. I'm going to train hard, and when the gaffer thinks I'm ready, then I'll be ready."

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