Alex Pearce joined Derby County on a three-year deal following the expiry of his contract at Reading in the summer of 2015.
Although he only appeared twice for Derby in his first season with the club, both in cup competitions, Pearce linked up with Bristol City and made seven appearances as the Robins retained their Championship status.
The form of Richard Keogh and Jason Shackell at the heart of Derby’s backline meant he had to be content with a place on the bench prior to making the loan move to Ashton Gate.
Born in Wallingford, Pearce progressed through the youth system at Reading and signed a three-year professional contract in 2006.
He made his debut in 2007 for the Royals before moving out on loan to Northampton Town in League 1 towards the end of the 2006/07 season to gain match experience.
In 2007/08 Pearce, in addition to handful of appearances for Reading, he spent time on loan at AFC Bournemouth and Norwich City in League 1 and the Championship.
During the 2008/09 season, following another loan spell, this time at Southampton, Pearce became more established in the Reading side as the side reached the Championship Play-Offs but were beaten by Burnley at the Semi Final stage.
He made 23 and 24 appearances over the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons for Reading before being a near ever-present as the Royals achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2011/12, a season in which Pearce was named as Player of the Season.
In 2012/13, Pearce featured on 21 occasions for Reading in the Premier League before remaining a key player in the 2013/14 and the 2014/15 campaigns, firmly establishing himself as the leader in the Royals camp.
In addition to starring for Reading, Pearce has been capped on five occasions by the Republic of Ireland. He made his debut against Oman in September 2012 and he marked the occasion in style by scoring in a 4-1 victory.
Ironically, he scored his second goal for his country against the same opposition in September 2014.