Reading Football Club can announce that Michael Gilkes has been newly appointed to the position of First Team Coach at Madejski Stadium and will now step up to work alongside Jaap Stam and his current team of coaching staff at Hogwood Park.
The legendary wing wizard, who spent 13 years as a player with the Royals - scoring 52 goals for the club in total – will immediately make the step up from coaching our Under-18s to take up the new position less than a month into our 2017-18 Championship campaign.
As a player, Gilkesy was a true fans’ favourite. His blistering pace and eye for goal were the trademarks of a young Hackney-born winger who went on to feature more than 400 times for the Royals in all competitions.
And this season will bring about the 30th anniversary of the club’s famous Simod Cup victory at Wembley – a win over Luton Town in 1988 which Gilkes memorably scored in!
He rejoined the club as a coach in 2013, working within our Category One Academy set-up and helping a fresh crop of young players try to make the grade in the game and realise their ambition of turning professional with Reading – just as he did!
Gilkes has spent the last few years coaching alongside Assistant Academy Manager David Dodds in the Under-18s age group and he took charge of our Under-23s side this month and barked instructions from the touchline as our young side earned a Checkatrade Trophy draw at Colchester United on Tuesday night.
Earlier this summer the FA announced that he had graduated with his UEFA Pro License – a qualification which enables Gilkesy to coach and manage at the very highest level of the game.
And everyone at Reading Football Club would like to wish Michael the very best of luck in his new role with the Royals!
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “Michael has long been a hero at this club and he has certainly proven his coaching credentials by taking a leading role within our esteemed Academy set-up since returning to the club four years ago. The manager wanted to swiftly appoint a new First Team Coach and, in Michael, we feel have the perfect candidate. I’d like to wish him well in his new position.”
Sporting Director Brian Tevreden added, “Gilkesy is already a well-respected figure around the training ground and amongst our supporters, who still fondly remember the goals he scored as a Reading player! He is an exceptional coach who has been working closely with our young players for some time now and he has all the attributes to become an even better coach working alongside Jaap and his team.”