News and Views

Stam Extends Contact As Williams Joins Huddersfield

05 July 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

After a year in charge of the Royals, Jaap Stam has signed a new contract that will keep him at the club for a until the summer of 2019. Stam, who had a year left on his existing contract, has been rewarded for a successful first season as club manager with a better deal that gives him a further year at Reading FC. After a couple of season in the wrong half of the Championship table no-one can deny that Stam has got the team to perform well ahead of expectations after he guided them to a 3rd place season in this first season in charge and took us to Wembley Stadium for the play-off final. The play-off final might have been a huge disappointment, but the Royals were just a couple of penalties away from the Premier League.

Stam will be hoping to go one better this season as he already starts to shape his squad for the new campaign. Of course, if the Royals can finish just a single place better in the final table then Stam will be under contract at a Premier League side. Stam has retained his backroom staff, including second in charge Andries Ulderink and first team coach Said Bakkati who joined him when he arrived at the club. If you get the latest sports betting offers, you'll see that Reading are great value to be promoted at 6/1.

After bringing in Dutch players last season, Stam looks set to continue to Dutch revolution at Reading. His first summer signing is Pelle Clement from Stam's former employers, Dutch side Ajax. Clement has signed a three year deal and is described at an attacking midfielder. At just 21, and having come through the Ajax academy, Clement appears to be a very bright prospect. After playing most of the 2015/2016 season for Ajax's second side the Amsterdam born player made the break through to the first team last season, making 4 appearances for the first team.

Meanwhile there has been plenty of outbound activity, mainly involving players that have failed to make an impression on the Reading senior squad last season, but also one big name in the shape of Danny Williams. Williams was out of contract at Reading and failed to negotiate a new deal. He now joins Premier League new boys Huddersfield Town who defeated Reading in the play-off final. Williams joined Reading from Hoffenheim and went on to make 156 appearances over four seasons for the Royals, scoring 14 goals.

Danzell Gravenberch will spend next season on loan at Belgium club KSV Roeselare. Young striker Andrija Novakovich will be pleased with a new contract at Reading after looking like he might break into the first team but never quite making the transition. Novakovich has two more years under contract at Reading to make an impression and has joined Dutch side Telstar for the season.

Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond has slipped down the ranks at Reading, dramatically falling from his position as first choice goalkeeper when he arrived at the club as an England Under 21 international. Bond will remain on Reading's books but has joined League One side Peterborough on a six-month loan. Another player that arrived and become a first team regular was striker Deniss Rakels, but his entire season was destroyed by injury last season. It now seems unlikely he will play for Reading again and has returned to Poland to join Lech Poznan for the season.

William's departure might grab the headlines, but the real story is a huge clear out of young talent that appears to have failed to make the grade at Reading.

Niall Keown is another player that almost made it at Reading, but found himself unable to get into the first team last season. Keown has signed a two year contract at Scottish side Partick Thistle after a successful loan spell there last season, and now leaves Reading permanently. Shrewsbury Town have snapped up defender Zak Jules on a two year contract. Yet another defender out of the door is Jack Stacey who spent last season on loan at Exeter City. Stacey joins League Two team Luton Town - also on a two year deal. Another player with loads of potential who looked like becoming the next big thing for a while is Tariqe Fosu who has joined Charlton Athletic.

Players In So Far:

  • Pelle Clement (Ajax)

Players Out So Far:

  • Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town)
  • Niall Keown (Partick Thistle)
  • Zak Jules (Shrewsbury Town)
  • Jack Stacey (Luton Town)
  • Tariqe Fosu (Charlton Athletic)
  • Craig Tanner (Motherwell)
  • Sean Long (Lincoln City)
  • Dominic Hyam (Coventry City)
  • Aaron Kuhl (Out of contract)
  • Stuart Moore (Out of contract)
  • Harrison Bennett (Out of contract)
  • Joe Tupper (Out of contract)
  • Terence Vancooten (Out of contract)
  • Jack Denton (Out of contract)
  • Harry Cardwell (Out of contract)

Players Out On Loan So Far:

  • Danzell Gravenberch (loan to KSV Roeselare)
  • Andrija Novakovich (loan to Telstar)
  • Jonathan Bond (loan to Peterborough)
  • Deniss Rakels (loan to Lech Poznan)

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