Reading have announced that John O’Shea has agreed to become a ‘first team coach’ at the club, becoming part of Jose Gomes’ backroom staff. There’s no word at the moment as to how long his contract with the Royals is.
It’s O’Shea’s first step into coaching, having finished his two-decade playing career with Reading at the end of last season. On that day, he was met by home and away team players who formed a guard of honour when he was substituted into the game late on.
The Irishman going into coaching always looked likely at the end of his career, and there had even been rumours before he joined the club last summer that he was planning on doing so with Reading. After his retirement though, news on a Berkshire return went cold.
That was until last night (Sunday), when Daniel McDonnell from The Irish Independent broke the news. He also gave some context to O’Shea’s long-term plans, saying:
“The Waterford man has long-term ambitions of moving into management - and it’s understood he has already been sounded out by some clubs on the lookout for a new boss - but he is keen to take his time and broaden his education.
“Therefore, the opportunity to work under Reading’s Portuguese manager Jose Gomes appealed to the 38 year-old.”
What made O’Shea decided to come back - or indeed if he’d always been planning on linking up with Jose Gomes et al - is unclear. Either way, it’s great to have someone with such vast experience as his helping out not only Gomes but also our very young squad. The manager was delighted to see O’Shea join the coaching staff, and told the official club website:
“John is an intelligent, modest, positive, highly respected individual who enjoyed a quite remarkable playing career. He competed at the very highest level and remained a model professional throughout - and he set a perfect example for our young players to follow last season. I am excited to work alongside him again, this time as a fellow coach and I’m delighted he has agreed to join us.”