Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Still named as new Lens head coach following Reims exit

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Jun 2024

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English manager Will Still has been named as the new boss at Ligue 1 side Lens following his departure from Reims.

The 31-year-old put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis until 2027, replacing Franck Haise who has recently joined Nice.

Still, who was born in Belgium, became the youngest coach in Europe’s top five leagues when he was appointed by Les rouges et blancs in October 2022, but initially arrived as an assistant to former boss, Oscar Garcia.

The Spaniard’s exit from the club saw Still initially being put in caretaker charge. However, a five-game unbeaten run in that time saw him remain at the helm for the rest of the season.

His tenure would get off to an impressive start, becoming just the second coach to remain unbeaten in his first 17 games in the top-five European leagues in the 21st century, after Tito Vilanova during his time at Barcelona in 2012-13.

The French club did, however, have to pay £22,000 whenever he took charge of a game because he did not hold a UEFA Pro Licence qualification.

Still left Reims by mutual consent with two games of the 2023-24 campaign remaining, departing with a win percentage of 37.29% from his 59 games in charge.

“We are delighted with the arrival of Will Still,” said Lens sporting director Pierre Dreossi on the Englishman’s arrival at the club. “He left his mark on Reims and was our top priority to take up the post. He is a promising coach, a fine tactician and is obsessed with winning.”

Prior to confirmation of his move to Lens, the 31-year-old was linked with a move to England after his departure from Reims, with Championship club Sunderland suggested as a possible destination.

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