Manager reflects on opening days at HogwoodFor a fortnight after being announced at a press conference as Reading’s new manager, Jaap Stam has been itching to welcome the players back to Hogwood and to get back out in the open air on the training field.
And since the players arrived back on site on Monday, there has a palpable sense of anticipation at the Royals’ training base. Broad smiles and hard work have typified Jaap’s first week spent with his new squad.
“Everybody is happy to be here at the training ground – that’s the players and the rest of the staff that are working here, as well as the technical staff,” said the manager. “Up to now, everybody is really looking forward to what the future is going to bring within the squad and towards the season as well.
“Since the press conference it has been quite busy with lots of people phoning and asking questions – the only thing I have been thinking about is getting back out on the pitch with the team and working towards the beginning of the season.
“Finally we are here and we are able to work – and everybody is really up for it.
“If you look at the players on the pitch, everybody has put a lot of energy into the training sessions. It has been very good.”
Coaching duo Andries Ulderink and Said Bakkati have both joined Jaap at Reading – but the gaffer is certain to be a ‘tracksuit manager’ with the Royals.
Armed with his stopwatch and whistle and ready to brave the elements, Stam has been out on the pitch at Hogwood to help put across his philosophy of exciting and effective football – no surprise there, as he hails from the nation that invented ‘Total Football’!
“I’m not the oldest, so I don’t need to sit behind a window and look at what’s going on outside!” Stam continued. “I want to train myself as well. The coaches are doing a lot of work on the pitch, but I like to do some things myself.
“Also it is important to stay in contact with the players and tell them what you expect in certain situations.
“I want to play possession football, and from there to create chances and score goals. I think that is what everybody likes – to play attacking, attractive football. That is what players like as well.
“Certain managers have success in different ways of playing as well – and I’m not saying that is the wrong way to do it, because everybody has their own style of playing. But we like the Dutch way of playing – hopefully we can get it into our team as well.
“We have the quality for that in our team. We’re building on it and we’re working on it. We’ve trained in the system in 11v11 a couple of times already in these couple of days. I am confident that eventually it will work.”