News and Views

Beasant Joins As Clarke Assembles Backroom Staff

26 June 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Dave Beasant has been revealed as Reading FC's new goalkeeping coach after the dismissal of former coach Sal Bibbo earlier this summer. Last season Beasant was at League Two Stevenage - where he was also registered as a player. Despite being 56 years old and last playing a Football League match 12 years ago, Beasant was named on the bench more than once after Stevenage found themselves without a back-up keeper. Beasant joins at a time when Reading have a similar crisis.

Goalkeepers Federici, Andersen, Lincoln and Henly have all left the club in the summer - so Beasant's first priority will be to assist in finding a goalkeeper that he can coach. Reading's only professional goalkeeper left is 20 year old Stuart Moore whose professional career is lower league appearances and two FA Cup games while on loan at Basingstoke last season. With Reading off to Thailand to begin their pre-season schedule they are now desperate to find a new number 1. Moore was highly rated while at Basingstoke and could find himself cast into the spotlight under Beasant's guidance - at least in the short-term.

Although no incoming players have yet been officially confirmed, it has been a busy week for the club. The club confirmed a friendly against Spanish club Espanyol will be staged at the Madejski Stadium on 1 August. Espanyol are at Southampton the next day, so it is likely their squad will be split in half - and you'd have to expect the stronger side to be at St.Mary's. Despite that it will be a useful friendly to end the pre-season schedule before league action begins at Birmingham City on 8 August. Beasant is also one of a number of new back-room staff that Steve Clarke has brought in.

Beasant is of course a friend of manager Steve Clarke as they played together at Chelsea. Other shufflings off the pitch are also to replace the old guard and swap them with staff known to Clarke. Steven Reid is the new first team coach and he comes to Reading after playing under Clarke at West Brom. Jonathan Urwin is Reading's new head physiotherapist with previous links to Clarke and even the new kitman has worked with Reading's manager before. Stewart Bannister was with Clarke back at Chelsea when Clarke was the youth team coach.

Putting the FA Cup run aside, Steve Clarke has had a poor half season at Reading and followed that up by a summer in which a big chunk of the first team have been allowed to leave. Off the pitch Clarke has sacked a number of popular members of staff and replaced them with his own team. Reading fans wanted big changes of course - so if this all pays off then Clarke will deserve huge credit for being brave enough to do it. However, if Reading are struggling at the bottom of the table early next season then the pressure on Clarke will surely be unbearable.

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