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Michael Hector

Nationality: English
Date/place of birth: 19 July 1992/Newham, London, England
Position: Central Defender
Height: 6ft3
Nickname: Big Hec, High Tower
Honours: None
Ex-clubs: Millwall, Thurrock Youth, Bracknell Town, Didcot Town, Havant & Waterlooville, Oxford City, Horsham
Joined: Friday 18 February 2011
Joined from: Reading (Loan)
Signed by: Ian Foster
Club debut: v Shamrock Rovers (A), 4 March 2011
First club goal: v Galway United (A), 6 May 2011

Michael Hector (born: 19 July 1992) is an 18-year-old central defender from East Ham in London that enjoyed his sixth loan from parent club, English Championship outfit Reading, with Dundalk, where his deal ran from February until July this year.

Having previously been on the books of Millwall, Hector joined Reading on scholarship terms at the start of the 2009/10 season after being spotted at Thurrock Youth. He gained experience in the Reading Reserves before going out on loan to Bracknell Town, Didcot Town and Havant & Waterlooville. Last summer, he signed his first professional contract with the Royals and was handed the No35 shirt. Shortly after, he joined Oxford City on another loan deal, and before joining Dundalk enjoyed a loan spell at Isthmian League Premier Division club Horsham.

After officially putting pen to paper with Dundalk on 18 February, Hector revealed the whirlwind weekend that saw him make the move to Ireland on 1 February. “There were rumours of me coming over here on the Friday after training,” he explained. “But they said it wasn’t confirmed yet. They weren’t sure if it was going to happen or not. Then at six o’clock on the Monday evening I got a phone call to come into the office and they said ‘you’re going to Ireland on Tuesday morning’. I didn’t pack too much and I didn’t really get to say goodbye to my family, properly, so it was a bit weird going straight away, not knowing about it. It was a bit difficult leaving my family without saying bye properly, but that’s what you have got to do.”

In his sixth loan spell away from Reading, Hector feels that they have provided him with a valuable learning process. “All the loans I’ve gone on have taught me a lot about what football is going to be like,” he said. “If the manager doesn’t like you, if you’re not going to play, if you’re sitting on the bench etc. – I think all that helps you to learn for when you become a footballer and maybe you’re not the first-choice centre back or you’re not playing. It teaches you how to react, to train harder, doing extra training and stuff like that. All the loans I have been on have helped me in one way or another.” Hector also paid tribute to Horsham manager John Maggs. “I have to say thanks to John Maggs because without him I don’t think I would have been confident,” the Londoner said, “because I wasn’t playing that much. I was only playing a couple of reserve games at Reading. Thanks to John, I started playing better with the reserves and I started training better with the first team. If I make it as a footballer, I will go back and see Horsham because I dedicate quite a lot to them because they did a lot for me.”

Hector made his competitive debut when coming on for Eoghan Osborne in the opening league game of the season against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium on 4 March. He made his full bow against Glentoran three days later, at the Oval in the Setanta Sports Cup quarter-final first leg. Big Hec scored his first goals for the club with a double against Galway United at Terryland Park on 6 May, in a 3-0 win for Dundalk. However, on 17 June, it was confirmed that Michael’s loan would not be extended beyond July, after the youngster suffered a knee injury. “Unfortunately, we have disappointing news regarding Michael,” Foster dundalkfc.com. “Brian McDermott rang me this morning and after liaising with his Director of Football and his physio, unfortunately they don’t think Michael is going to be fit until late August.

“Therefore, there is no benefit to Michael in then coming over for two months of football, which I totally agree with,” Ian added. “It’s just unfortunate that we probably didn’t foresee Michael being out for such a long period. It’s disappointing for myself and it’s disappointing for Michael. Having spoken to him, I know how disappointed he is, and also Reading Football Club are disappointed, because they know how well Michael has been doing. They know it has helped his career as well. It’s one of those things that happens – it’s unfortunate. We would have loved to have kept Michael until the end of the season. He’s a promising young player, and unfortunately for us he’s going to stay at Reading.”

2011 Apps (Starts) Goals
Overall 15 (14) 2
League 11 (10) 2
Setanta Sports Cup 3 (3) 0
FAI Cup 0 (0) 0
League Cup 1 (1) 0
Leinster Senior Cup 0 (0) 0
All-Time Apps (Starts) Goals
Overall 15 (14) 2
League 11 (10) 2
Setanta Sports Cup 3 (3) 0
FAI Cup 0 (0) 0
League Cup 1 (1) 0
Leinster Senior Cup 0 (0) 0

Profile last updated: 27 July 2011

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