Reading confirm Jaap Stam appointment as new manager

Reading have confirmed the appointment of former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam as the club's new manager.

The 43-year-old ex-Holland international, who was introduced to the media at a press conference at the Madejski Stadium, has signed a two-year contract with the Sky Bet Championship club.

He becomes the Royals' first non-British manager and replaces Brian McDermott, who was sacked last month.

"We are all extremely excited to have Jaap Stam as the new manager of Reading," a statement attributed to club shareholder Tiger on the club's official website said.

"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."

Stam, who won the Champions League as a player with Manchester United in 1999 and had spells with Lazio and AC Milan, will take charge of a senior team for the first time.

He has spent the last two seasons as assistant coach of Jong Ajax, the Dutch club's reserve side.

"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," the statement added.

"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."

As a player Stam was signed for £10.6million by Sir Alex Ferguson for United from PSV Eindhoven in 1998 and won three successive Premier League titles in his three seasons at Old Trafford before being sold to Lazio. Ferguson later admitted Stam's sale had been a mistake.

Stam served a four-month ban in 2001 after being found guilty of using the banned steroid nandrolone while playing for Lazio, but has always maintained his innocence and strongly denied taking any illegal substances.

He signed for AC Milan in 2004 and went on to appear in the 2005 Champions League final, which Liverpool won on penalties after fighting back from 3-0 down.

The Dutchman, who represented his country 67 times, signed for Ajax in 2006 and retired as a player the following year.

Reading 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."

Reading finished 17th in the Championship last season and sacked previous boss McDermott for a second time on May 27.

Former Leeds boss McDermott had returned to the Madejski Stadium for his second spell in charge in December 2015, but was unable to repeat the success of his initial stint at the helm when he led the club to promotion to the Barclays Premier League in 2012.

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