Shorey couldn't resist Royals

Defender feels he owes debt of gratitude to fans

Nicky Shorey: Has re-joined Reading on a free transfer

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Nicky Shorey admits the prospect of a return to Reading was too good to turn down after rejoining the club on a free transfer.

The left-back, who spent seven seasons with the Royals between 2001-08, returned to the club on Tuesday, signing a one-year deal with the option for a further season.

The 31-year-old links up with his old club as they prepare for a return to the Premier League after winning the Championship last season.

Interest

Shorey, who had been a free agent following his release by West Brom earlier in the summer, had attracted interest from other clubs but says his mind was instantly made up after speaking with manager Brian McDermott.

He told the club's official website: "I spoke to Bri on the phone and he made it clear that he wanted me to come back, which is always nice, and I made it clear that I was more than happy to do that.

"It was an easy conversation to have. Most of the summer I was waiting and I had other clubs interested so it's been a long summer for me, thinking where I was going to end up. But as soon as Brian made the call to me, my mind was made up.

"I spoke to another couple of managers and I've got a lot of respect for them and I'm sure I would've been happy going to one of those clubs, but the pull that Reading had, to work with Brian especially and (director of football) Nicky Hammond again and the people at the club, I didn't feel I could turn it down, and being in the Premier League as well."

Shorey, who departed Reading for Aston Villa in 2008, is keen to repay the fans for their support during his first stint at the Madejski Stadium.

He added: "I've always had great support from the Reading fans and I feel a little bit like I owe them a great deal and a lot of my career really.

"It feels like a new challenge now and hopefully I'll be able to repay them."

Shorey says he is ready to fight for a place in McDermott's first-team but knows the competition will be tough.

Ready

"I always keep tabs on Reading and last season they did extremely well," he added.

"It's always tough to come in and try and get into a team that's done so well so you've got to fight your way in and work hard.

"Whenever I'm needed I'll be ready."