Shorey - Quiet Bri is just like Coppell
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Returning Royal: Nicky Shorey, centre, trains with his Reading team-mates after returning to the club for a second stint.
BRIAN McDermott may not have been an obvious choice to become Reading manager - but Nicky Shorey always knew he would be a roaring success.
No other player on Royals' current books has known McDermott for as long as Shorey.
The pair were first united in early 2001 when a fresh-faced Shorey signed for a bargain £25,000 after impressing former boss Alan Pardew during a reserves friendly against Leyton Orient at Palmer Park Stadium.
McDermott had only joined the club himself the previous year when he quit as boss of non-league Slough Town to become Pardew's chief scout.
But in those early days McDermott and Shorey formed a strong bond that remains to this day.
And now with Shorey back for a second stint after fours years with Aston Villa and then West Brom, he is relishing the opportunity to work under McDermott the manager.
Speaking exclusively to the Chronicle, Shorey said: "You never quite know how it's going to turn out for new managers do you?
"I suppose he didn't have much experience of managing before he got the job here, but there was something about Brian that told you he would be extremely good at it.
"All I can say is that all the players, whether they were in the first team or not, had a really good relationship with Brian back then. You always wanted to listen to him and hear what he had to say.
"He was always good company and he talked a lot of sense which I think players appreciate and can relate to.
"To be honest, I was delighted when Reading gave him the opportunity to become manager and he proved it was a good decision by doing so well."
It has been anything but an easy ride for McDermott either as he was forced to steer the team through some choppy waters in the months following Brendan Rodgers' sacking in winter 2009.
His stock quickly rose when he took Reading from a relegation battle to a mid-table finish the following year.
And while Royals suffered the agony of losing to Rodgers' Swansea City at Wembley in the play-off final 12 months later, McDermott had the ability to rally his troops and lead them to the Championship title last season.
His skills did not go unnoticed by rival clubs and Royals acted fast to tie him down on a new contract until 2015 when Wolves made an approach regarding their managerial vacancy that Mick McCarthy left earlier this year.
Thankfully, McDermott stayed and went on to become only the second manager in Reading's 141-year history to take them into the top-flight after Steve Coppell in 2005/06.
And 31-year-old Shorey believes McDermott learnt a great deal from Coppell, left, when he was in charge between 2003-08.
The Romford born left-back added: "Brian has gone about his job so well. He keeps a low profile and he just operates under the radar and gets on with the job.
"I suppose he's a bit like Steve Coppell in that respect. Steve was pretty quiet in some ways but when he had something to say you listened to him and Brian is quite similar.
"Steve was very successful at Reading and Brian has carried that on. I think he's a great fit for the club and it's great to be a Reading player again at such an exiting time."
Left-back Shorey was relased by the Baggies at the end of last season and has signed a one-year Royals' deal with the option to extend it by a further 12 months.
He made 286 appearances for Reading between 2001-08 and became the club's first player to play for England in more than a century when he featured in two friendlies under Steve McClaren.
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