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Jaap Stam Named As New Reading FC Manager

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The Dutchman becomes the Royals' fourth manager in the space of a year and a half.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

17 days after sacking Brian McDermott, Reading FC have announced that Jaap Stam will be the new man in the dugout at the Madejski Stadium. The former Manchester United defender signs a two year contract in Berkshire with the option of a third, and joins after leaving his role as a coach at Ajax - where he worked alongside new Royals Technical Director Brian Tevreden.

After the initial rumours were released, Stam's agent dismissed the claims, and talk surrounding a new manager began to die down with other names being put in the frame such as Avram Grant, Milinko Pantic and Gianfranco Zola. But the Daily Mail reported a deal had been done on 6th June, with other media outlets soon saying the same. Now the club themselves have confirmed the appointment.

A statement on the club website read:

Reading Football Club are delighted to confirm the appointment of Jaap Stam as first team manager at Madejski Stadium.

The Kampen-born former PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lazio and AC Milan centre-back becomes the Royals first boss from overseas in the club’s history, taking the reins immediately at the start of an initial two-year contract at Reading.

Fellow Dutch duo Andries Ulderink and Said Bakkati are set to join Stam at Madejski Stadium as part of his new-look coaching team – having both worked with the new boss as coaches at Ajax. First team coaches Steven Reid and Dave Beasant will both remain in their positions at the club, forming part of Stam’s first team staff.

“We are all extremely excited to have Jaap Stam as the new manager of Reading,” said Tiger, a shareholder at Reading Football Club. “Lady Sasima, Narin and I have spoken to Jaap about his hopes and ambitions for Reading and it is clear to see he is a man with a real passion for football and a lot of energy and enthusiasm ready to put into his new role as a Royal.

“He and his coaching team arrive from Ajax, a club globally renowned for developing young players into first team stars, and from this moment onwards we will sit down together and help to put his plans into action to build a strong squad capable of rising to the challenge of the Championship in 2016/17.

“He has achieved the very highest honours as a player and has already won a title in his coaching career, so now he can begin what we believe will be a very successful journey in management at Madejski Stadium.”

Chief Executive Nigel Howe said:

“I am delighted to welcome Jaap to Reading. He was the first choice amongst a vast number of applicants interested in the position and we are thrilled that we have managed to secure the signature of a manager with such an abundance of experience. His record as both a player and coach, at the very highest level in England, Italy and Holland as well as internationally, speaks for itself and on behalf of everyone at Reading Football Club I would like to wish Jaap the very best in his career as a Royal."

Meanwhile, the 43-year-old Dutchman will speak for the first time in a press conference this afternoon.

This will be Stam's first job as a manager, having previously worked as part of the back-room staff at United, Ajax and FC Zwolle.

What do you make of the appointment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.