League position: 20th
Average league attendance: 14,991
Top league goalscorer: Yakou Meite, 12
Miles from Brentford: 35
Address: Junction 11, M4, Reading RG2 0FL
José Gomes was officially appointed as First Team Manager of the Royals on 22 December 2018.
Gomes left his position at the helm of Portuguese top tier side Rio Ave to put pen to paper as Royals boss, becoming only our second manager from overseas since the club’s inception in 1871.
Before joining Reading, Gomes accrued a wealth of experience in a coaching capacity; starting out as a youth coach at amateur side CF Valadares in his early twenties, nearby his hometown of Matosinhos, his talents quickly took him into the professional ranks with Paços de Ferreira where he was appointed as assistant manager in 1995.
After a stint as assistant at SC Covilhã and widening his skillset by working as a fitness coach with Gil Vicente and Benfica, Gomes returned to Paços in 2003 for his first taste of first-team management. Over the coming years, his experience was broadened during spells in the dugout with Portuguese sides Aves, Leixões, União Leiria and Moreirense.
In 2008, Gomes took up a position with Portuguese giants Porto, assisting vastly experienced manager Jesualdo Ferreira and helping the side to a league and cup double in his first season. As a duo, Gomes and Ferreira would move on to Spanish top tier side Malaga and Greek goliaths Panathinaikos, giving him his first taste of working outside of his native country.
Gomes built on those international experiences when he took his next role as a head coach, steering Hungarian outfit Videoton to a fourth-placed finish and to the final of the Ligakupa in the 2013-14 season.
That was followed by taking the hotseat at Saudi clubs Al-Taawoun and Al-Ahli (winning the Saudi Super Cup with the latter), Abu Dhabi-based side Baniyas, and a second spell with Al-Taawoun before a return to his homeland to join up with Rio Ave last June. Gomes arrives in RG2 having led the Vila do Conde-based side to sixth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
And in December 2018, José arrived in Berkshire to begin a fresh new challenge as Royals boss.
Ivorian youth international Yakou Meite made the move from French giants Paris St-Germain in the summer of 2016 to link up with Reading.
Born in Paris, Meite joined PSG at the age of 13 and progressed through the Academy system in the French capital. He reached the final of the UEFA Youth League with Ligue 1 giants last season – an U19 competition which mirrors the Champions League at group stage.
Only nine days before that tournament started, Meite had made his professional debut for Laurent Blanc’s side, coming off the bench in a 2-0 win over Guingamp to play a small part in what was a domestic treble-winning season for PSG last season.
Yakou is eligible to play for the Ivory Coast through his parents and he first represented the Elephants at U17 level, picked to take part in the U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2013.
The forward went on to feature in the Toulon Tournament for the U20s in 2015 – featuring in a 2-1 defeat to an England side which included fellow future Royal John Swift amongst their squad.
Meite, who was linked with moves to a number of top flight teams in England in the summer, joined the Royals in July 2016 ahead of the new Championship season.
His first campaign at the Madejski saw him demonstrate glimpses of his explosive attacking ability on a number of occasions and he scored his first in Royals colours against Derby County at the iPro Stadium in January 2017.
Meite's 2017-18 season was spent back in France, where he was a regular for Sochaux during a loan spell as they finished 10th in Ligue 2.
But he returned to the Royals ahead of 2018-19 and formed part of the pre-season programme; he netted his first goal of the new campaign in August in the Carabao Cup against Birmingham City.
Head to Head
Brentford wins: 29
Reading wins: 37
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