Reading Football Club have announced their new manager as Serbian former footballer Veljko Paunović.
He'll meet the squad for the first time out in Portugal where they are taking part in a short pre-season training camp following yesterday's match against Tottenham.
Veljko replaces Mark Bowen who is rumoured to be taking on another role within the club.
Veljko’s playing career took him from his beginnings in his native Serbia to the top tier in Spain, Germany, Russia and the United States.
With vast experience of top flight football as both a player and a coach across Europe and in the United States, and with proven pedigree of successfully working with young up-and-coming footballers on both the domestic and international scene, I am confident Veljko can help take this club forward. After meeting with him, we found Veljko to be an exceptional candidate who impressed us immediately.
The young forward made his professional debut at just 17 years of age with Partizan Belgrade before he joined Atlético Madrid.At 20, Paunović helped Madrid reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1998.Short playing stints with Rubin Kazan in Russia, Spanish side Almería and then back in Belgrade with Partizan were followed by a return from retirement to feature for Philadelphia Union in the MLS in 2011.
number of appearances Paunović made as a player
Taking charge of the Serbian Under-18s and then Under-19s, the multi-lingual manager guided Serbia to the Final of the Under-20 FIFA World Cup in 2015.That success paved the way for his return to the US, becoming Head Coach at Chicago Fire in November 2015. In Illinois, he managed midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger amongst others, and guided Fire to the end of season play-offs in 2017.Paunović will then formally take charge of the Royals upon his return from the continent, in advance of our first league game of the brand new season, away at Derby County.