Reading Football Club are delighted to announce that manager Jaap Stam has put pen to paper on a new contract which will see him remain as Royals boss until the summer of 2019.
ssistant Manager Andries Ulderink and First Team Coach Said Bakkati, who followed Stam to Berkshire back in June 2016, have also signed new deals at the club.
It is little more than a year ago that the former PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lazio, AC Milan and Ajax centre-half took his first bold step into management at the Madejski.
And during his maiden season at the helm, Stam far exceeded expectations in what he and his team achieved – ending the season in third place was in stark contrast to 19th and 17th placed finishes recorded by the club in its previous two campaigns.
In 386 days spent at the reins, Stam has earned acclaim from far and wide, modestly playing down plaudits from his peers and pundits, receiving the unequivocal respect and admiration of his players, whilst meriting adulation from the Royals fans who avidly watched their side turn the tide on two disappointing league seasons and fall only a penalty shootout short of a return to the Premier League.
His first season as manager was a long, eventful but exhilarating one - drawing to a close after 120 minutes at Wembley in the 54th game of the Royals’ season. Yet with 29 victories to his name as Royals boss, Stam can boast a win percentage of nearly 54% as he prepares to guide his team into a brand new Championship challenge in 2017-18.
Stam had another year left on his Royals contract however, after such an impressive start to his managerial career, Jaap’s name was naturally linked with a number of high profile positions throughout the course of last season and during our truncated summer break.
But new majority shareholders, Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li, made the manager signing a contract extension at the club their number one priority and they acted quickly to begin negotiations about a new deal immediately after the conclusion of our 2016-17 campaign. And this afternoon, Jaap signed on the dotted line!
Mr Dai said, “My sister and I are absolutely delighted that Jaap Stam has agreed to sign a new contract at Reading Football Club. We will support Jaap in helping him to build a squad capable of challenging at the top end of the Championship again in 2017-18 and that support will continue throughout the season as we look forward to the challenge of a brand new season!”
Chief Executive Nigel Howe commented, “Jaap, Andries and Said signing new contracts is momentous for this football club and a clear demonstration that Reading Football Club is a great place to be right now. Akin to the manager, we are a club with fierce ambition and his commitment to the cause offers us the continuity we need to build on last season’s undoubted successes, shape our future with stability, drive and focus and aspire to achieve even more in 2017-18. I’m delighted we have secured his signature.”
Director of Football Brian Tevreden added, "I am thrilled that Jaap has signed this new deal. Importantly his presence provides consistency at this football club and his leadership is invaluable going into the new Championship season. On a personal note, I enjoy working alongside him and his team - and he fully deserves this new contract."
Next season will be tough. We know that and we are preparing ourselves for another long, hard rollercoaster ride! Emulating last season’s achievements will be extremely difficult. But Jaap Stam is going to lead us into battle…and he doesn’t like losing.
Jaap Stam had a dream…