READING have announced Mark Bowen as their new first team manager.

The former Welsh international full-back who has a wealth of coaching experience to his name, steps up from his position as sporting director to become Royals boss.

Bowen’s coaching CV boasts more than 20 years of experience, 17 years of which were spent competing in the Premier League.

His connection to the club will also help him hit the ground running as Royals boss.

Bowen joined the club as a consultant towards the end of the 2018/19 campaign and was key in helping the first team earn the results needed to climb away from the bottom three.

Bowen's services were quickly retained by the club in the summer as he adopted the role of sporting director, becoming responsible for all football operations at the club.

Chief Executive Nigel Howe said: "In the relatively short period of time that Mark has already spent at Reading Football Club, he has commanded respect and admiration from all who have worked alongside him. He came in at a critical period last season to help us retain our Championship status and had an immediate impact.

"Mark has two decades of coaching background on his CV, has tasted promotion to the Premier League and spent most of his coaching career in top-flight football. He knows this club and the owner and the board believe he is very capable of getting the very best out of a talented group of first team players and achieving the results we all want."