Reading Football Club are delighted to announce that Joey van den Berg has put pen to paper on a new contract which is set to see him sport blue and white hoops until the summer of 2019.
Van den Berg was Jaap Stam’s first acquisition as Royals manager when he agreed to sign a two-year deal with the club at the end of June last year and he played a key part in helping the club achieve a third-placed finish in his first campaign as a Reading player.
"Joey is in the last year of a two-year contract and, in his first season at the club and at the start of this campaign, he has shown how important is to the squad," said manager Jaap Stam.
"He is fit, physically strong, he works very hard and he has quality on the ball. And he's a very clever player. Every team in this league wants to have a player with those qualities, so we're very happy that he's signed a new deal and is staying with us for another season."
Born in Nijeveen, Van den Berg’s playing career began with Heerenveen before stints at FC Omniworld, Meppeler Sport Club, Go Ahead Eagles and MVV Alcides in his native Netherlands. He linked up with then assistant manager Jaap Stam at PEC Zwolle and scored seven goals in winning the league title and earning promotion to the Eredivisie in 2012.
Van den Berg returned to ‘De Superfriezen’ mid-season and promptly steered Heerenveen, his boyhood side, away from the threat of relegation an up to 8th in the second half of his first season back at the Abe Lenstra Stadium. In 2013-14, he improved on that record with eight goals and 8th spot in the Dutch top tier.
The 31-year-old made 31(+3) appearances for the Royals last season, playing in both the defence and the centre of midfield in his maiden campaign in RG2 following a switch from the Eredivisie outfit on a free transfer.
And as a Royal, Joey played a part in both legs of our triumphant play-off semi-final against Fulham in May and started at Wembley to help the Royals keep a clean sheet in the Final against Huddersfield Town. That was one of 13 clean sheets that Van den Berg earned in 2016-17 and he added another to his tally after starting in the 2-0 win at Birmingham City last month.
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “Joey’s versatility, vision, leadership and considerable experience has been evident in every game he has played for the club since signing last summer and I am very pleased that he has followed in the footsteps of a number of other key first team players in committing his future to what we are trying to achieve here at Reading Football Club.”
Sporting Director Brian Tevreden said, “I am delighted that a player of Joey’s undoubted ability has agreed to extend his contract at the club. His commitment to the cause out on the pitch can’t ever be questioned and, in signing this new deal, he will remain a very valuable member of a strong Royals squad going forward.”