New manager discusses new arrivals and his previous bossesJaap Stam, who was unveiled as the new manager of Reading FC on Monday afternoon, welcomed two new members to the Royals coaching staff in the form of Andries Ulderink and Said Bakkati.
46-year-old Ulderink has a wealth of experience as a coach and manager in the Netherlands, while Bakkati, 34, worked with Stam during the last 12 months after retiring from his playing career.
The Dutch trio worked together at Ajax, and the new boss is looking forward to getting to grips with his new role in their company – along with current coaches Steven Reid and Dave Beasant.
“I’ve worked with Andries for two years already at Ajax, and Said joined us last season,” Stam said. “They know what I want to do as a manager and how I want to play, what kind of training sessions I want to give and how I am as a manager.
“I don’t think you can do it on your own as a manager. You have to have a good staff. And with the two of them, we’ve also got Steven Reid who will be joining us and Dave Beasant as well.
“We’re going to have a good staff and hopefully together we can bring Reading to a very high level.”
Stam worked under a stellar list of managers during his own playing career, and he believes that some of their influences will have rubbed off on him for his career on the other side of the white line.
“I had a lot of managers during my career – some that I could learn a lot from in how they managed a team and what they did or said in certain situations,” he continued.
It’s always nice to work under managers like Ferguson and Ancelotti, and some of the experienced Dutch managers like van Gaal and Hiddink.
“If you go into management, you want to pick from every manager or every captain that you have played with and make your own package which hopefully can give something to yourself as a manager.
“When I just started playing professional football, Theo de Jong had played at Feyenoord and for the national team, and as a manager [at Zwolle] he was very important for myself as a young player. Afterwards Dick Advocaat was very important in my career, and then of course I joined Manchester United where Alex Ferguson was already a big name in the world of football and he kept on growing as a manager as well.
“If you get to work with people like that, that gives you a lot of inputs that you can take into your own career as a manager.
“At the end of my football career, I was thinking about the managers that I worked with and what they brought to the team, and what I can use as a manager. That’s a good way to do it because it’s difficult to do everything on your own.”
Stam also revealed that his switch into management was far from inevitable… but it was his love of the game that sucked him back in!
“I always said that once I stopped playing professional football, I didn’t want to go into coaching and management. But I got a call from FC Zwolle six months after I stopped playing because they were having some problems within the club, and hoping that I could help the team out on the training pitch.
“I said ‘okay – let’s see how it goes’. Then it grew from two days a week to five or six! Before you know it, you’re into it again and only thinking about football, but in a different way. I became assistant manager at the club and we took Zwolle to the highest division, and after that I took the step to Ajax.
“There I worked with the first team as well, as an assistant to Frank de Boer, and after that I managed Ajax’s second team along with Andries Ulderink. That team play in a professional league – so players that were 18 or 19 were often playing against players that were in their 30s! It was interesting to do that job as well – it all contributes to what I am going to bring to Reading.”