Federici closes on Premier League

by AAP on May 18, 2011

0 comments | | print

Socceroos goalkeeper Adam Federici is one match away from returning to the English Premier League after keeping a clean sheet for Reading in their 3-0 second leg Championship playoff semi-final victory against Cardiff.

Reading now meet Swansea in the playoff final at Wembley on May 30 in a match worth an estimated STG90 million ($A138.06 million) to the winners.

Federici made two appearances for Reading in their previous two-season stint in the EPL from 2006-08 and is now established as the Royals' first-choice custodian.

The 26-year-old has represented Australia on three occasions and was a member of the Socceroos squad at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

Shane Long was the matchwinner for Reading in the 3-0 away win over Cardiff, bagging his 24th and 25th goals of the season, the second of which came from the penalty spot.

Jobi McAnuff struck a late third goal to secure a convincing victory, with the tie goalless after the first leg at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading manager Brian McDermott said he could not wait to walk out at Wembley after a career of missed opportunities when it comes to taking centre stage at the home of football.

"I've been to Wembley in 1978/79/80 with Arsenal and never played. I was at Oxford and never played when we won in 1986," said McDermott.

"I missed out in an FA Trophy semi-final against Southport, I missed out to go to the semi-finals against Aston Villa and against Manchester City.

"So that's what it means to me.

"To go out there, walk out with the team, our supporters behind us, I'm just delighted for the staff, players and supporters."