Ex-defender enjoying new touchline dutiesNew first team coach Steven Reid is savouring his new coaching role with the Royals, after hanging up his playing boots in the summer.
The former full-back made his move into coaching by joining Steve Clarke’s coaching staff at Madejski Stadium earlier this summer. That followed a playing career which spanned 18 seasons – most of which was played in the top tier of English football with Blackburn Rovers, West Bromwich Albion and Burnley, as well as winning 23 Republic of Ireland caps along the way. But he admitted that he has enjoyed the transition and is relishing the opportunity to influence proceedings from the sidelines.
“I’m not missing playing one bit!” he confessed. “I’ve got to be totally honest – at this moment in time, I’m enjoying watching the games and holding the stopwatch. Part of me is enjoying this role more than the last couple of seasons playing.
“I had a tough time with injuries, and it meant mentally preparing for training every day, let alone games. So I’m really enjoying being on the other side of that white line, and not putting my body through it anymore.”
Reading manager Clarke was Reid’s boss at the Hawthorns during the 2012/13 season, when they reached eighth in the top flight and secured the Baggies’ highest finish for 32 years.
And the Royals’ newly-appointed coach explained his respect and reverence for the manager, who is gearing up for his first full season with Reading.
“I still call him ‘gaffer’ – I think that will always be the case,” Reid smiled. “I think even if our paths go a different direction down the line, I’ll always call him the gaffer. I’ve had that respect for him from day one at West Brom, all the way through until now.
“I stayed in contact with him long before this opportunity came about to work at Reading...and I don’t do that often with players or managers that I play with – sometimes it can be a bit like ships in the night in football, but he has been a voice and an opinion that I have always valued.
“His experience and the silverware he has won as a head coach, and the job that he did at West Brom all make him a great fit here. The CV that he has speaks for itself and I think he’ll be able to get the best out of the group that we have in our dressing room.”