Reading defender Ian Harte signs new contract

Ian Harte

Veteran Reading full-back Ian Harte has signed a new one-year contract with the newly promoted Berkshire club.

The former Republic of Ireland defender, whose current deal was due to expire this summer, joined the Royals in 2010 and made 32 starts this season.

He said: "It's a dream come true to go back to the Premier League."

The 34-year-old spent the first nine years of his career in the Premier League with Leeds United before moving to Spanish La Liga side Levante.

However he described his last two years with Reading as "the best" of his career.

Harte told the club website:external-link "Now that it's all sorted I can go away and enjoy the summer, thoroughly look forward to next season and come back raring to go."

Reading manager Brian McDermott added: "It's a fantastic story, if you consider that two years ago Ian had been written off in certain quarters, and yet now he is a Premier League player again.

"That tells you everything you need to know about the person, the player, his resilience, his character, his determination and his quality. He still has that burning desire in training every day to play at the highest level. So I'm delighted that Ian has signed a new contract."

Harte joined the Royals from Carlisle United in August 2010 and, in his first season in blue and white hoops, scored 11 goals to help McDermott's men reach an FA Cup quarter-final and take Reading to the brink of promotion and the play-off final at Wembley.

Last season, he went one better, making a total of 34 appearances to help the Royals achieve promotion and win the Championship title.

Along the way he scored four goals, including a trademark set-piece strike at Middlesbrough in February and a match-winning free-kick that earned all three points at Brighton in April.

His performances saw him voted into the official PFA Championship Team of the year by his fellow players for the second successive season.