‘Jaap Stam had a dream…’ And he has put pen to paper on a new contract to continue to work towards that dream as Royals boss.
“When I signed my first contract over here, the intention was to work over the course of several seasons, trying to build something,” he exclusively told the club’s official website earlier today.
“And I am the type of person who is committed to what I want to achieve. So I am more than happy to sign a new contract here, because I’ve been so happy during my time over here.
“There were some talks about renewing our contracts towards the end of last season, but I openly said that I wanted to wait until the end of the season because we were totally focused on our job of getting Reading into the top six, the Play-Off Final and then doing everything we could to make it to the Premier League.
“Of course, it was a disappointing result at Wembley - but the owners came into the dressing room after that game and immediately started talking about the new season.
“They wanted to make a positive impact, by bringing some new players and supporting me in getting the extra quality into the squad so we can hopefully do very well again this season.
“And last season went quite well so the new owners wanted to give me a new contract - we went into talks about that and now we have agreed a new two-year deal.”
Stam’s humility is one of his most endearing features. And he made it clear that the success he earned in his first season as Royals boss was far from all his own work…
“It’s always about finding your way at the beginning of the season. And of course you always want to do well,” he said.
“I’ve got a certain mentality, as have the people I work with, to want to do well, to make that extra step to earn that extra achievement.
“When the owners spoke about wanting to give me a new contract, they knew that Andries and Said are close to me and that we work well together, so it’s great they have both signed new deals as well.
“But it’s also about Beas’, Reidy, everybody who works as part of our group of technical staff who have been working very hard to get results since we arrived.
“And of course, the players! The players you are working with are maybe the most important part of the football club because they need to do it out there on the pitch.
“It was very important for me to work with a team, to get this unity within a group, so that everybody in the club is willing to work for each other.
“We aim to improve the players, improve the team…but the team helped us a lot last season in making it easy for us as a technical staff to get the results we all need.
“It’s not only up to me to earn myself a new contract, the players played a big part in helping me out because results are all important."
Jaap also admits that he is always learning. It’s great news that the learning process will continue at Reading Football Club!
“As a manager I want to make progress and it is important that I learn as well. Just like the players, you don’t want to stay at the same level, you always want to increase your ability, become better as a manager, make it even more clear to the players what you want.
“The basics of being a manager, you know. But by working over here, getting results, acquiring more and more knowledge of the league, learning more about the English way of thinking and how teams play over here – hopefully that can help me this season!
“Of course you need to keep your own philosophy and we will stick to that. But last season gave us a good impression of what we need to do this season and what I, as manager, can maybe do slightly differently to take that next step.”
And Stam had one final word for the fans, ahead of a brand new campaign!
“I have said how much I like to work with the people within the club and that I am very happy in the way everyone is doing their job and working together. But I’m also very pleased by the people outside the club.
“The fans saw that we were changing certain things within the club and it hasn’t necessarily been easy for them to adapt to how we work and how we want to play.
“But our supporters understand what we want to achieve and saw last season that we have been succeeding in what we are trying to do and how we are trying to do it.
“They have needed patience, but throughout the season - both at home and on the road - the support the fans have given the team has been fantastic.
“The players have felt that as well and I know they have mentioned it loads of times throughout the course of last season – our supporters have given us that extra push in the back in hard times. And that will be important again next season!”