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Wilkins on Return

7 March 2014

First Team Coach relishes Amex

Royals First Team Coach Dean Wilkins is looking forward to a trip to the Amex this weekend, having spent a huge chunk of his career with Brighton and Hove Albion.

Wilkins made 335 appearances for the Seagulls, before taking up the managerial reins at the Withdean Stadium .

“I spent almost half my life there, 20 years as a player, coach and manager so to see the transformation in the place now is fantastic,” said Dean.

“Since Tony Bloom went in and got permission for the new stadium, you can see by the crowds how far they have come. I’d be lying if I said that after Reading, it wasn’t the first club I looked for results wise - it’s still close to my heart. But once you’re playing against them on a matchday everything goes out the window.”

The 51-year-old, who was assistant to Nigel Adkins during a successful period with Southampton, has also told of his passion for helping to develop the current stars within the Royals squad.

“From my own point of view I’m always trying to evolve myself, I’ve always been a student of what’s out there. We’ve had some successes – the shining light this season is Jordan Obita. He’s gone in at left back even though he didn’t really play there throughout the Academy. Initially we noticed he wasn’t competing for the ball in the air, and after a good chat we found out that he actually broke his nose five times from the age of five to fifteen – so to a degree there was a fear factor for his point of view. But we’ve gone away and done some work, we’ve tried to give reasons for using different techniques and he’s gone and implemented them; now you see him competing in the air really well as a defender.”  

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