McCarthy playing for Reading in 2013
|Full name||Alex Simon McCarthy|
|Date of birth||3 December 1989|
|Place of birth||Guildford, England|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|2007||→ Woking (loan)||1||(0)|
|2008||→ Cambridge United (loan)||1||(0)|
|2008||→ Team Bath (loan)||2||(0)|
|2009||→ Aldershot Town (loan)||4||(0)|
|2009–2010||→ Yeovil Town (loan)||44||(0)|
|2010||→ Brentford (loan)||3||(0)|
|2011–2012||→ Leeds United (loan)||6||(0)|
|2012||→ Ipswich Town (loan)||10||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:30, 5th March 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Alex Simon McCarthy (born 3 December 1989) is an English footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Reading. A product of Reading's Academy, McCarthy spent time out on loan in the Conference before signing professional terms with the club in 2008. He made his Football League debut in 2009 whilst on loan to Aldershot Town and spent the following season at Yeovil Town before making his Reading debut in 2011. He has since spent time on loan at Leeds United and Ipswich Town.
At international level McCarthy has represented England and made his debut for the under-21 side in 2010, appearing three times in total. In May 2013 he was called up to the senior squad for friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil though he did not make an appearance.
Born in Guildford, Surrey, McCarthy began his career as a schoolboy at Wimbledon and Wycombe Wanderers before joining Reading on a scholarship at 16. He was a regular in the Academy team for two years and was part of a group that included several future first-team players including Jem Karacan, Alex Pearce and Gylfi Sigurðsson. His first experience of senior football came in August 2007 at Woking where he made one appearance cover for the injured Nick Gindre. On 26 March 2008 he joined fellow Conference National team Cambridge United on work experience, making his debut two days later in a 3–0 defeat to Kidderminster Harriers. He made no further appearances and returned to Reading before signing his first professional contract in July 2008. McCarthy moved on loan again on 24 October 2008, joining Conference South team Team Bath as injury cover. He made his debut the next day in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round against Salisbury City and also played in the First Round defeat defeat to Forest Green, making four appearances in total. Another short loan spell followed with McCarthy joining League Two side Aldershot Town for one month on 2 February 2009. He made his Football League debut twelve days later in a 3–2 defeat to Exeter City and played three further matches before returning to Reading at the beginning of March.
At the start of the 2009–10 season McCarthy joined League One side Yeovil on an initial six-month loan and made his debut on 8 August in a 2–0 home win over Tranmere Rovers. A month later he received the first sending-off of his career after fouling Stockport County's Nicholas Bignall who was also on loan from Reading. McCarthy's loan spell was renewed in January 2010 and again in February, before being extended for the rest of the season on 24 March. Over the course of his spell he played 44 league games and kept all twelve of Yeovil's clean sheets. Following his successful loan, McCarthy was given a new three-year contract at Reading, keeping him with the club until 2013. He again departed on loan in August 2010, joining Brentford, though he remained there for just one month before being replaced by fellow Reading loanee Ben Hamer.
Reading debut and further loans
After returning from loan at Brentford in September 2010, McCarthy spent the next five months on the bench as cover for Adam Federici. He eventually made his Reading debut on 19 February 2011, coming on as a substitute for the injured Federici in the 84th minute against Watford and helping to secure a 1–1 draw. With Federici out for six weeks with knee ligament damage, McCarthy had a run in the side and made his full debut three days later in a 2–1 win over Millwall. In his next outing he saved a penalty against Crystal Palace as Reading twice came from behind to draw the game 3–3. He also played an important role in the 1–0 FA Cup fifth round win over Everton, producing a late save to deny Leon Osman in a performance described as "tremendous" by former England manager Kevin Keegan. Despite another strong display in the next round against Manchester City at Eastlands, Reading lost the match 1–0 to a Micah Richards header. He continued in goal until 30 April when he was displaced by a fit again Federici for the 0–0 draw at Coventry City and remained an unused substitute during Reading's play-off campaign.
With Federici remaining the first choice Reading goalkeeper for the 2011–12 season, McCarthy was loaned to Leeds United for a month on 4 November to gain Championship experience. An injury to Andy Lonergan and the indifferent form of Paul Rachubka saw him go straight into the team for the game against Leicester City. He kept a clean sheet on debut as the game ended in a 1–0 win. Further clean sheets against Nottingham Forest and Millwall followed and were enough to keep him in the side ahead of the returning Lonergan. In the last game of his initial spell he saved an injury time penalty against Watford, allowing Leeds to rescue a point with a last minute equaliser. Following the game, he revealed that he was keen on extending his loan at Leeds, with Reading agreeing to renew it for a second month two days later. Ineligible to face his parent club on 17 December, he was replaced by Lonergan and made no further appearances, returning to Reading on 3 January 2012. He signed a new three-year contract with Reading on 9 January before joining Ipswich Town on loan until the end of the season. On his return to Elland Road with Ipswich he was sent off for handling the ball outside the penalty area with twenty minutes remaining. Ipswich, one goal up at the time, went on to lose the game 3–1. After ten appearances, all coming in the league, he returned to Reading at the end of the season.
Again starting the season as second choice goalkeeper, several mistakes and an injury meant McCarthy replaced Adam Federici for the 3–1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on 16 September 2012. He retained his place in the team for the next few games and put in an impressive performance against Swansea City on 6 October leading to suggestions of a senior England call up in the future. His good form continued with a man of the match performance in Reading's next game against Queens Park Rangers, firstly tipping Esteban Granero's free-kick onto the crossbar before saving from Adel Taarabt at close range. The game ended badly though as he injured himself colliding with the goal post after diving to stop a Taarabt shot. Despite initial hopes the injury was not too serious, he was forced to undergo shoulder surgery in early December potentially ruling him out for remainder of the season. He recovered quicker than expected though and returned to the side on 13 April 2013, keeping a clean sheet in a 0–0 draw with Liverpool. After making ten saves during the game, he was widely praised with his performance described as "fantastic" by Nigel Adkins and "absolutely staggering" by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. He remained in goal for the rest of the season, making 14 appearances in total.
McCarthy trained with the England under-19s before joining the under-21 set-up for the first time in September 2009. He received several further call-ups to the under-21s in 2009–10 and eventually made his debut as a second half substitute against Uzbekistan in August 2010. In March 2011 he was named in a 31-man squad to face Denmark and Iceland as preparation for the European Under-21 Championship. He played a full 90 minutes in the first game and 45 in the second as England won 4–0 and lost 2–1 respectively. He travelled with the squad to championships in Denmark but did not play any games, finishing with three caps at under-21 level.
In April 2012 he was named in the 80-man long list of potential players for the Great Britain football team at the 2012 Olympics. He had made it down to the provisional 35 players for the tournament though ultimately did not make the final 18. In May 2013 he was called up to the England senior team for the friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil, becoming the first Reading youth team graduate to gain an full England call-up since the Academy era began in 1998.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Woking (loan)||2007–08||Conference Premier||1||0||0||0||—||0||0||1||0|
|Cambridge United (loan)||2007–08||1||0||0||0||—||0||0||1||0|
|Team Bath (loan)||2008–09||Conference South||2||0||2||0||—||0||0||4||0|
|Aldershot Town (loan)||2008–09||League Two||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
|Yeovil Town (loan)||2009–10||League One||44||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||45||0|
|Leeds United (loan)||2011–12||Championship||6||0||0||0||0||0||—||6||0|
|Ipswich Town (loan)||2011–12||10||0||0||0||0||0||—||10||0|
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 262. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
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- "McCarthy signs new Reading FC deal and joins Ipswich Town on loan". Reading Post. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- "Ipswich seal keeper deal". Sky Sports. 8 January 2012.
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- "Unknown".[dead link]
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- Alex McCarthy career stats at Soccerbase
- "McCarthy named Young Player of the Month". The Football League. 22 April 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alex McCarthy.|
- Alex McCarthy profile at Reading F.C.
- Alex McCarthy profile at the FA
- Alex McCarthy career stats at Soccerbase
- Alex McCarthy career stats at Soccerbase