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Roy of the Royals

Roy Beerens signs 3 yr deal Credit: Reading FC

Reading Football Club have signed Dutch winger Roy Beerens from Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

The 28-year-old has signed a 3 year deal for an undisclosed fee. The Royals say he joined Reading ahead of a number of other clubs interested in his signature.

Manager Jaap Stam: “Roy has a lot of qualities – he is a winger that can play on either the left or the right, and technically he is very strong. He has pace, he can score goals and create chances for others.

“I think he is going to be a player the fans will enjoy watching. We want players who are comfortable on the ball, can use possession and create things. So when the opportunity to sign him arose, Brian Tevreden began talks with his agent immediately and now we’re very happy that Roy is joining us.”

Beerens began his career at PSV Eindhoven, representing the Eredivisie giants in his teenage years before a loan spell at NEC Nijmegen in 2007. Beerens moved to Heerenveen where he really rose to prominence during four years in Friesland.

There he won the Dutch Cup, featuring in the final which was won after a penalty shootout against Twente in Rotterdam in 2009. He also formed part of a side which took on the likes of AC Milan, Sporting Lisbon and Hertha Berlin in the Europa League.

Beerens also broke onto the international scene whilst in Heerenveen, first representing the Netherlands in the 2008 Olympics. In Beijing, he played alongside the likes of Ryan Babel, Jonathan De Guzman, Roy Makaay and former Royal Royston Drenthe in the Dutch side which bowed out in extra time to Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero’s Argentina.

A regular under-21 for Holland, Beerens went on to make two appearances for the senior Dutch side – debuting in a friendly 1-1 draw with the Ukraine in 2010 before replacing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in a defeat to Germany in Hamburg a year later.

In 2011, the fleet-footed midfielder signed for AZ Alkmaar and more Europa League experience came in the form of meetings with Valencia, Anderlecht, Udinese and Benfica amongst many others. And Beerens won his second Dutch Cup in 2013, helping his newest team overcome the challenge of his former side, PSV Eindhoven, with a 2-1 win in the Final.

In 2014, he left his native Holland to sign a contract with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin, scoring four goals in 26 starts whilst playing his football in the German capital.

He will now link up with Jaap Stam’s squad next week, upon their return from a training camp in Oosterbeek.

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Hampshire floorball team to take part in I Am Team GB

The Rio Olympics is set to inspire the next generation of gifted athletes. But what if you are not quite so talented? How can you still be involved?

We may just have the answer - the nation's biggest sports day.

Called I Am Team GB, it's backed by our Olympic team, the National Lottery and ITV and will take place on August 27th with all kinds of free activities across the country.

And you will have no excuse for watching the telly - ITV is switching off its screens for an hour to encourage its viewers to join in.

Andrew Pate has been talking to floorball players in Farnborough, who are among many others taking part:

Andrew spoke to Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Rutherford and Farnborough floorball player Sam Adler.

Find activities near you, here.

I Am Team GB: Get involved in biggest ever sports day

On Saturday 27 August 2016 our Olympic heroes will be helping create the nation’s biggest sports day and everyone is invited to take part.

There will be thousands of free events across the country Credit: PA

Called I Am Team GB and brought to you by ITV and The National Lottery there will be free events throughout the Meridian region.

There are lots of ways to get involved. Here are just a few examples:

To find out about events happening near you, head to I Am Team GB

England full-back Ryan Bertrand signs new five year deal at Southampton FC

Ryan Bertrand signs new five year Southampton FC deal Credit: Southampton FC

England full-back Ryan Bertrand has signed a new five-year contract with Southampton FC.

The 26-year-old joined from Chelsea in 2014 and made 34 appearances for Saints last season, helping them qualify for the Europa League.

It means Bertrand is now committed to St Mary’s until 2021. And he joins Virgil van Dijk, Fraser Forster, James Ward-Prowse and Steven Davis in agreeing fresh deals at the club in recent months.

"I'm very pleased. It's been a fantastic move for me since the day I came to this club and I look forward to many more successful years and really pushing forward.

"I've enjoyed my football here. I've really enjoyed the club, and the fans have been fantastic with me personally as well, so I couldn't think of any better place to play football and to keep on developing.

"The club is always thinking forward and I really want to be a part of that, and I am sure we can go on to achieve even better things.”

– Ryan Bertrand

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Saints Foundation launches new league at St Mary's

All eyes might be on Euro 2016, despite the eventual exit of all the home nations...but it is time to focus on some football on this side of the Channel.

A hundred and fifty keen footballers from across the South have been taking part in a brand new league at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton. Saints Foundation organised a disability tournament which they hope will develop into leagues across the country. Sally Simmonds reports.

Saints sign 13 new young stars of the future

Southampton Football Club has handed two-year professional scholarships to 13 players as part of its latest intake to the Under-18s squad.

A large proportion of the players have come through the youth ranks at the club, but, significantly, they have been joined by many young talents from other teams who have opted to further their fledgling careers with Saints.

The group were welcomed to the club by Academy Manager Matt Hale and Under-18s coach Craig Fleming, most with their parents alongside them, as they committed themselves to Southampton for the next two years.

The new boys are: Harry Hamblin, Kieran Freeman, Jonathan Afolabi, Oliver Gardner, Harlem Hale, Harrison Davis, Michael Obafemi, Jamie Bradley-Green, William Smallbone, Jake Vokins, Adam Parkes, Alex Cull and Javen Siu.

Saints new under-18 scholarship signings Credit: Southampton FC
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