Experienced Dutch star becomes new Royals bossReading 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.”
Stam, 43, brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the role. His first title as a centre-half came in his native Holland, winning the Dutch Cup and then the Eredivisie title with PSV in successive years.
In 1998, he became the most expensive Dutch player and the most valuable defender in history at the time by agreeing to a £10.6million move to Manchester United.
During three full seasons at Old Trafford, Stam won three consecutive Premier League titles, one FA Cup and played a full part in a memorable UEFA Champions League victory over Bayern Munich to complete the treble in 1998/99… his first campaign at United.
United only lost a total of 17 of the 127 games in which Stam featured, across all competitions, during his stay in Manchester.
He added the Coppa Italia to his CV at Lazio and reached a second Champions League Final with Milan in 2005 before returning to Holland to end his playing career at Ajax.
An experienced Dutch international, Stam was capped 67 times by the Netherlands – taking part in three UEFA European Championships and the 1998 FIFA World Cup, reaching three semi-finals in major international tournaments during his career with Holland.
Since hanging up his boots in 2007, the former Dutch Defender of the Year initially took up a scouting role at United and then began his coaching career with PEC Zwolle, winning the Eerste Divisie with the same club he started his playing days with.
That summer, Stam signed a three-year contract with Ajax to become an assistant coach and in his first season back at the Amsterdam ArenA he helped his old club take the top tier title.
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.”
During his playing career, Stam has played under some of the greatest managers in the sport – Sir Alex Ferguson, Dick Advocaat, Roberto Mancini, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Louis van Gaal – and he has since worked alongside Frank de Boer as a coach at Ajax. He will now begin his own managerial career at Reading and everyone at the club wishes him the very best going forward.