After Nicky Hammond's surprise departure last week, it was announced by the club that the former Director of Football's duties would be taken on by Nigel Howe and Brian Tevreden. Now, of course, we all know a fair amount about Howe - the Reading Chief Executive has been a close ally of Sir John Madejski for a number of years now. However, Brian Tevreden, a retired Dutch footballer, is a much less well-known quantity.
Luckily for us, Tevreden has today given an interview with Dutch website Ajax Showtime (no prizes for guessing which team they cover). In it, he discusses the early part of his time at Reading, his thoughts on the club as a whole, and a lot more.
Here's a loose transcript of what Tevreden said to Ajax Showtime. Please note that, because we had to put it through Google Translate, this isn't a verbatim copy of his quotes.
On his early time at the club
"It's crazy because everything's gone pretty fast. I've worked here for three months, and have been busy with the youth team and also partly the first team.
I worked with Nicky Hammond so it was quite natural that I was approached when it was announced he would leave. I said yes, but also that I'd need some help. The CEO promised it, so I decided to give the job a go. If things go well, I'll remain technical director, or I could go back to my old job nicely."
On Reading FC as a whole
"It's been a very disappointing season. We took six players on loan, and the club has to scale back financially. So, this is a club that wants to give youth a chance. They want to buy young talent and push on from there.
Comparisons between Reading and Ajax
"Obviously the big difference is the name. Reading is a club that trains and then gives players a chance in the first team, so both clubs [Reading and Ajax] have that in common for sure. But there are also some differences, such as in the quality of the players. Chelsea and Arsenal can buy pretty much anyone, whereas Reading, like Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, don't take that approach."
Why he chose to come to Reading
"That was one of the reasons I had for going to Reading. It was really important for me to see how the club deals with youth and how well that youth would progress into the first team.
"There were a lot of clubs interested in me, including in the Netherlands. But I'm a real Ajax man, so I had to go abroad. There were actually two clubs in England and in the end I opted for Reading.
What does all of this mean for Reading?
The big takeaway point I notice in what he said is the stress on youth. It's notable that Reading brought in someone from a club as big as Ajax, a team with one of the best reputations in the world for developing young players. And, judging from he says in the second sentence, his focus has thus far been on working with the Royals' academy.
Evidently, the choice to bring Tevreden in as Nicky Hammond's replacement (albeit alongside Nigel Howe, who seems to have some kind of mentoring role), reflects a wider plan to turn Reading into a club with a strong academy that develops its own talent. As we all know, Reading's academy is already a very good one, but the addition of a coach from Ajax suggests to me that the club is planning on taking things up a notch.
With Nicky Hammond having left for pastures new, the Thais now have an opportunity to alter the club's approach. Tevreden's quotes do suggest that the club doesn't have that much cash to splash on new players but, that being said, the cash that is available will be invested wisely, in a long-term strategy.