Jaap Stam: Reading appoint ex-Manchester United star as manager

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Jaap Stam: Reading name ex-Manchester United defender as new manager

Reading have named ex-Manchester United and Netherlands defender Jaap Stam as their new manager.

The 43-year-old, capped 67 times by his country, takes over from Brian McDermott, whose second spell in charge of the club lasted just six months.

A coach at Ajax last season, Stam had been favourite to succeed McDermott.

"Reading are very ambitious like I am and want to get back to the Premier League," he said. "Hopefully we can have a good partnership and get there."

Stam, who was part of United's 1998-99 treble-winning side during his three years at Old Trafford, joins the Championship club on a two-year contract.

The former Lazio, AC Milan and Ajax centre-back's new role with the Royals is his first in management.

"Everyone knows that teams in the Championship are very competitive," he added. "It's not going to be easy, but we'll work very hard."

He becomes Reading's first non-British or Irish manager. Dutch duo Andries Ulderink and Said Bakkati will join his coaching team having worked with him at Ajax.

First-team coaches Steven Reid and Dave Beasant will both remain in their positions.

'I wish McDermott had been given longer'

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McDermott deserved longer - Madejski

Chairman Sir John Madejski, who sat alongside Stam as he was presented to the press on Monday, admitted he was disappointed to see the club part with McDermott in May.

McDermott led the Royals to promotion to the Premier League in 2011-12, but won only nine of 30 games in charge during his second spell as the Berkshire side finished 17th last season.

"I wish that Brian had been given a bit longer," said Madejski. "But the shareholders decided it was time for a change.

"I respect the shareholders' decision, although I didn't agree with the decision that Brian shouldn't have stayed longer.

"That's in the past now, so we have to move forward. I wish Jaap every success for the future and I really do mean that."

Stam, meanwhile, said he spoke to fellow countrymen Southampton boss Ronald Koeman and former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink before deciding to take the Reading job.

"It's very important to speak to people who have been working at the top level as well as in the UK to ask them for advice about the way to go," he said.

Jaap Stam playing for Manchester United
Former Manchester United centre-back Jaap Stam will face ex-Chelsea midfielder Roberto di Matteo, the new manager of Aston Villa, in the Championship next season

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