The next big appointment at Reading FC will be a permanent replacement for the late Eamonn Dolan as Head of the academy.
In view of the job done by Dolan, and the high-regard in which he was held, the Irishman will be an extremely hard act to follow . In many ways you feel that Eamonn was irreplaceable.
Whoever gets the job will require a gift for spotting and nurturing young talent, the ability to motivate staff and deal with all types of (possibly unreasonable) parents and a love for Reading Football Club, as it grows and develops into the 21st century. Someone like Brian McDermott.
There are many reasons for wanting to see Brian back in the Madejski Stadium fold. First and foremost he's a good bloke with the interests of the Royals very much at heart. He may have been criticised for his managerial acumen, but have you ever heard anyone say a bad word about him as a character, someone you would trust to work hard and give his utmost to the cause?
His background is steeped in bringing players through to first team level, be it as chief scout, U19 or reserve team manager. or even as first team manager, when he helped the likes of Shane Long and Gylfi Sigurdsson on their way to multi-million pound international careers.
He also knows the workings of the club, knows the format put in place by Dolan, and would have the respect of the staff to retain the high standards already in place.
On a personal level Brian was a close friend of Eamonn's (it could be said they were cut from the same cloth), and for sentimental and humanitarian reasons wouldn't it be uplifting for Dolan's family to see the torch passed on to such a close connection?
Of course, sentimentality can never be the ultimate reason. But why shouldn't it play a part? The Thai-Dutch revolution at Reading hopefully offers exciting times ahead, yet long-term stability is required as well. Every football club's needs its 'old retainers' to give it a beating heart and a bulwark against the difficult times (which are as inevitable as the rolling tide).
Brian would answer all these criteria. And yet (I hear you say) there are doubts, arguments against.
For a start, how would Jaap Stam feel about having his predecessor back on the staff? Would he feel his position undermined in any way? Those are questions that only the people involved can answer. But if they are mature adults, with the club's best interests at heart they should be able to deal with the situation.
Would Brian want to come back in such a role? Or does he, at 55, still have ambitions to be a manager somewhere (having recently been linked with the Bolton job)? Again only the man himself can tell you that . But in view of his regard for the Royals (which he expressed at the time of Dolan's untimely death) and his comment to Technical Director Brian Tevreden that he was available to him 24/7 you've got to think he might be tempted.
Also, are there better options? I mean no disrespect to Lee Herron, who is currently keeping the seat warm as Interim Head of the Academy and who may be ready to step in and do an excellent job. Those who have to make the appointment will be aware of his qualities.
All I ask is that they think about Brian. Probably, they have already. And if they decide that the former Swedish Player of the Year is the right choice I, for one, would be delighted. And I'd believe one aspect of the club's future was in safe hands.