Reading signs Canadian U-20 player of the year Ethan Gage By Steven Sandor Posted on February 1, 2011 0 0 408 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Ethan Gage For Canadian soccer fans, the closing of the transfer window didn’t feature the lunacy of the multimillion dollars that saw Fernando Torres go to Chelsea and Andy Carroll head to Liverpool, but there was one move that stood out. Reading, currently sitting ninth in the English League Championship, announced Monday that it had agreed to terms with reigning Canadian U-20 player of the year Ethan Gage, who was out of contract with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Cochrane, Alta. native move is subject to the approval of a work permit by the U.K. authorities, which is no sure thing considering Canada’s average rank below No. 70 on the FIFA charts over the last two years — and the fact that Gage does not feature for the senior team. U-20 appearances mean squat when it comes to securing work permits in the U.K. Because Gage was not under contract, he is not considered a transfer and can sign after the Jan. 31 window is closed. “Gage awaits the formality of a Visa, and as he classifies as a free agent he will be able to sign outside of the transfer window when the visa and international clearance are received next week,” stated a release on the Reading website. Gage is on a short-term contract that only lasts until the end of this season. Reading expects him to use this time to earn a long-term contract with the club. The club has made it clear that he has to earn a longer-term deal. Gage will want news on his work permit sooner than later, as the process can be dragged out for weeks. Every week he loses could cost him a long-term stay in English football. Reading seems awfully ambitious to have the paperwork secured within a week, judging by the travails of Canadian players who have tried the English-football route before Gage.