MX23RW : Sunday, June 16 15:34:15| >> :600:148222:148222:

Will Still lands new job with European team after Sunderland rejection

Will Still lands new job with European team after Sunderland rejection
© Reuters
Lens appoint former Reims boss Will Still as their new head coach on a three-year deal after talks to bring the 31-year-old to Sunderland fell through.

Highly-rated young manager Will Still has been appointed head coach of Ligue 1 outfit Lens, despite holding lengthy talks over taking the Sunderland job.

The 31-year-old made headlines across Europe during his remarkable start to life in the Reims hotseat, having gone 14 games unbeaten in all competitions in the 2022-23 season.

Still quickly became the subject of internet popularity after it was revealed that playing the Football Manager and Championship Manager games inspired his coaching career, stopping playing at the age of 17 to focus on his managerial duties.

Still started out as a video analyst before transitioning into a head coach role, but as he did not hold a UEFA Pro Licence when he took over at Reims, the Ligue 1 club were fined €25k (£21k) for every game he managed.

Reims finished 11th in the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season thanks to Still's efforts, and the 31-year-old - who was born in Belgium to English parents - was quickly linked with a move to a Premier League or Championship club.

After a five-match winless run, Still left his role as Reims manager just before the end of the 2023-24 season and was viewed as the leading contender to take the Sunderland job following Michael Beale's departure.

Still 'rejected Sunderland due to internal concerns'

Talks between Still and the Black Cats were reportedly progressing positively, albeit not to the point of an agreement, as Still has now penned a three-year contract with Lens until the summer of 2027.

"We are delighted with the arrival of Will Still at the Racing Club de Lens. Will was our top priority to take up the position of coach and start the new cycle that is opening at the club," Lens director Pierre Dreossi said. "Will is not only a promising coach who has broken records for precociousness, he is a unifying personality obsessed with winning.

"A true enthusiast, conqueror and fine tactician, Will Still left his mark on the Stade de Reims, where he obtained convincing results, notably a historic series of 19 matches without defeat. We are happy to welcome Will, his leadership and his communicative energy to La Gaillette and Bollaert-Delelis!"

Still will replace Franck Haise at Lens after the former Sang et Or boss left his post to take up the role of head coach at Nice, having overseen a meteoric rise for the Stade Bollaert-Delelis outfit.

Lens were promoted back to Ligue 1 in the curtailed 2019-20 season and quickly established themselves as a European-challenging team, finishing just one point behind champions Paris Saint-Germain in the 2022-23 season.

Les Sang et Or also beat Arsenal at home in the 2023-24 Champions League group stage and placed seventh in Ligue 1 last term, thereby earning a spot in the Europa Conference League qualifying playoff round.

A report from the Hull Daily Mail claims that Still turned down the chance to join Sunderland due to concerns over staffing and investment, while ex-Hull City boss Liam Rosenior is now the favourite to take charge of the Black Cats.

ID:545621:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect4698:

Click here for more stories about Michael Beale

Click here for more stories about Lens

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Raphael Varane celebrates scoring for Manchester United on August 14, 2023
Read Next:
Ligue 1 manager confirms interest in signing Man United defender
>
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.
rhs 2.0
Euro 2024 fixtures header
Sunday, June 16
 
5pm
Monday, June 17
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Tuesday, June 18
 
5pm
Wednesday, June 19
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Thursday, June 20
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Group Stage
Spain
vs.
Italy
Friday, June 21
 
2pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
Saturday, June 22
 
5pm
 
8pm
Sunday, June 23
 
8pm
 
8pm
Monday, June 24
 
8pm
 
8pm
Tuesday, June 25
 
5pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
 
8pm
Wednesday, June 26
 
5pm
 
5pm
 
8pm
 
8pm
Saturday, June 29
Sunday, June 30
Monday, July 1
Tuesday, July 2
Friday, July 5
Saturday, July 6
Tuesday, July 9
Wednesday, July 10
Sunday, July 14
Tables header RHS

Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

TeamPWDLPTS
1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

TeamPWDLPTS
1 Denmark Denmark00000
2 England flag England00000
3 Serbia Serbia00000
4 Slovenia Slovenia00000

Group D

TeamPWDLPTS
1 Netherlands Netherlands11003
2 Austria Austria00000
3 France France00000
4 Poland Poland10010

Group E

TeamPWDLPTS
1 Belgium Belgium00000
2 Romania Romania00000
3 Slovakia Slovakia00000
4 Ukraine Ukraine00000

Group F

TeamPWDLPTS
1 Czech Republic Czech Republic00000
2 Georgia Georgia00000
3 Portugal Portugal00000
4 Turkey Turkey00000


Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!