Chelsea full-back Ryan Bertrand is relishing life at Reading, having arrived on a season-long deal.
The 19-year-old, Brendan Rodgers first signing as Reading manager, featured in the Royals' 2-1 defeat at Kettering.
Bertrand told BBC Berkshire he is enjoying being with the club: "With the style and philosophy of Brendan, pre-season is a joy - you don't dread it.
"It's a chance to play with some of the best players in the Championship, so I'm really looking forward to it."
Bertrand feels the hard work they are putting in ahead of the start of the Championship season will stand them in good stead.
"As you get older you realise pre-season is important for you as an individual," he added.
"There's nothing better than coming up against an opponent and knowing you're fitter than him and he's never going to run you out of the game. You have the mental battle won already."