Less than a month has passed between the end of last season and the beginning of preparations for the new one.
That has meant for a busy few weeks to cram things in – and first-team coach Steven Reid has been using his time wisely as he begun working on his UEFA Pro Licence, the highest coaching qualification available.
And, by being based in Kraków in recent weeks, it means he has been able to see one of our squad members in competitive action this summer, with John Swift in action for the Young Lions at the Euros.
“It was a short summer!” said Reid. “I got away pretty much straight after the play-off final and had a quick family holiday, and then came back and had a week working on my UEFA Pro Licence and finished the latest part of it last week.
“I did the B Licence and the A Licence while I was playing, and this is the next stage of the coaching journey.
“I was based in Poland – every year the group that do the Pro Licence try to get to an international tournament, and for us this year it was the Under-21s at the Euros. It was interesting to see other teams playing, different formations – and it has been good to keep an eye on Swifty as well!
“It was an interesting week and there are a lot of good people on the course; hopefully I’ll be completing it this time next year. I got back at the weekend, and it’s straight back into it now!”
2017/18 will be Reid’s third year with the Royals, and his second working in close quarters with gaffer Jaap Stam.
He explained how much he has learned over the past 12 months, and his hopes for the year ahead.
“It has been an amazing couple of years – we’ve experienced highs and lows over these seasons,” he continued. “The manager came in last summer and was hoping for a successful season, but to go on and achieve what we did by finishing third and coming so close to the Premier League was incredible.
“It was great to learn a different style of play – we’re learning all the time with Jaap and his staff, and it has been really interesting for me personally and for my development as a coach. Hopefully that continues this season. But obviously it’d be nice to go one step further!
“Even when we’re not away at a pre-season camp, we’re always working closely together every day – we’re in the office together, we share everything, and I’m certainly learning from the group. It has become a close-knit group over the past season and I think that was reflected in the results we had last season.
“I’ve been really impressed with all the staff that have come in. And now I’m ready to get going – it’s a shame the season isn’t starting earlier! You just want to get up and running as soon as possible.
“It is going to be a challenge – you see the strength of the teams that have been relegated and you see the strength of those teams that didn’t even make the play-offs last year... the ultimate aim is to try and go one step further than we did last year.
“We know that will be difficult but we believe the squad can improve again and we’ll see where that takes us.”