Brian Tevreden

So far, the signs are promising for Reading.

 

Tevereden is the Royals' new and young technical director having been quietly promoted to take over from long-serving Nicky Hammond who joined West Brom this summer.

 

The 34 year-old has been working tirelessly behind the scenes – “he's first to arrive, whether that's at the training ground or the stadium, and last to leave” one training ground staff member said – and already overseen some significant changes.

Tevereden might be little-known as it stands but prefers to let his work do the talking.

 

“What I think is actions speak louder than words,” the Dutchman said.

 

“I am like this, never one to scream or yell a lot. I am a person who thinks 'prove yourself, and people will get to know you.'”

 

In that regard, pulling off the eye-catching appointment of a big-name like Jaap Stam is a feather in Tevreden’s cap.

 

Tevereden recommended Stam and then surprised colleagues when he actually managed to lure the former Holland and Manchester United defender to Reading.

 

“Nobody believed me when I got him in. I said ‘I’ve got him’ and everybody was in shock.

 

“I was surprised by a lot of the managers that called me. There were very big games.

 

“We have a clear plan for the academy. We want to develop young players for the first team, mixed with experienced players.

“Jaap is experienced as a manager with young players and first team players. We want a specific style of play, attacking play.

 

“He came from Ajax and was assistant manager in the first team so he knows about the philosophy and the philosophy I have is the same one so that is why the connection was there.”

 

The Reading job is Stam’s first as a first team manager.

 

“Every big coach, Pep Guardiola, Frank de Boer, they came from the academy and were put in the first team, inexperienced,” Tevereden argued.

 

“You see where Guardiola is now. You see what De Boer did with Ajax. But when are you experienced? Do the job and then you can become experienced. Same with Jaap.

 

“If it goes wrong people will point at me but that is part of the job. You have to do it, what can you do?

 

“If people point the finger at you you have to be a man to take it.”

 

Reading are at the start of a three-year plan and by the end of it want to have consolidated their position in the Premier League.

 

He said: “But within the five years we haven’t got a target for when we want to get to the Premier League. This year we want to fight for the Premier League, whether that is by the play-offs or whatever.

 

“I know the Championship is a tough league, one of the hardest leagues in the world, especially to get out of.

That’s why you need a clear plan. Especially this year with Newcastle coming down, Norwich and Aston Villa, major clubs. It will be a tough season but we will face it and see how we get on.”

 

Tevereden, a former left-winger who started his career at Ajax before being released at 18, hoped to reach the top as a player.

 

When he decided that wasn’t going to happen after further spells at clubs in Holland and Greece he quit aged 25 and embarked on a coaching

career, firstly with the Dutch FA and then Ajax, before joining Reading in January initially as head of international football and development.

 

Cutting his career short early gave Tevreden a head start in his bid to make his mark off the pitch.

 

He is now helping run a club when he is easily young enough to still be playing.

 

But Tevreden insists age is just a number and has quickly proved to agents and rival clubs that his youth should not be confused for inexperience or naivety.

 

He said: “Sometimes they try and do some things because they think you are young but then I am very hard. Very hard to deal with.

 

“People try but believe me when they go out of the office they know.”

 

Tevereden also doesn’t see his colour as an issue. “For me it is very strange we talk about colour in 2016,” he says.

 

But as a rarity in English football, a black person with a boardroom position, Tevreden accepts he has a role to play as an example to others.

 

He said: “When I was appointed as a director a lot of people in Holland and Surinam were very happy and I got a lot of phone calls.

 

“I can understand that because when Clarence Seedorf was appointed manager of AC Milan I had a feeling of goosebumps.

 

“And I watched one game and I remember when Mario Balotelli scored and he ran over to Seedorf and they pointed to each other and it was difficult to explain how proud I was.

 

“For me that was an example that it is possible that you can be a black coach.

 

“In Holland it is the same issue (lack of black coaches and senior club officials) but a lot of black youth coaches are coming through.

 

“I was one of the first and a lot of guys said ‘hey Brian is at Ajax.’

 

“A lot of black guys now take the coaching course and get chances at academy clubs.

 

“It is good to see I am now an example as a director. In the beginning with Ajax I was a little uncomfortable with it because when you are walking around everybody is looking at you.

 

“But I get used to it now and it is a positive thing if I am an example for my own people or all black people that it is possible.

 

“If you work hard, are loyal and do your thing then you can get the job. I think Reading did a very good job because they didn’t look at the colour just the quality and that is a compliment to the owners and the chief executive.”

 Actions speak louder than words is  one of Brian Tevreden's mantras.