Manager recounts previous meetings with QPR bossIt was around 25 years ago when Jaap Stam and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink first went up against each other as professional footballers back in their homeland – and this weekend, the Dutch duo will be pitting their wits against each other in opposing dugouts when we visit Queens Park Rangers.
Stam began his career with DOS Kampen and FC Zwolle in the Netherlands, while Rangers manager Hasselbaink represented Telstar and AZ before moving abroad.
Their paths have also crossed in the Premier League era when they played for Manchester United and Chelsea respectively, and they travelled as teammates to the 1998 World Cup (when Holland reached the semi-finals in France)… but now they prepare to lock horns as management staff for the first time in the Championship.
“I played a couple of times against him when he played at Telstar in Holland!” Stam said. “And, of course I played alongside him for the national team.
“I know him in terms of how he was as a player, and as a manager I have been following him in the last couple of seasons as well – I’ve seen QPR and how they are as a team and how they play, and in the last couple of weeks we’ve been watching them quite a bit.
“So we know a bit about what he wants to do and how he wants to play, as well as his mentality, so it’s going to be an interesting game.”
The Royals gaffer admitted that he takes keen interest in how a number of his former colleagues and countryman from his playing days have been faring during their transition to the other side of the white line.
“It’s always nice when you see former players who you have played with when they go into coaching and into management, and you follow how they are doing,” continued the Reading manager. “Hopefully everybody does well – as a fellow countryman you want them to do well within that squad they are managing.
“Like Frank de Boer, Philip Cocu, Jimmy, and some other former players, I follow how they are doing and it is always interesting to see how they progress as a manager with their team.”