“This Reims has Still”: how the young Belgian coach is making a name for himself in France

While he was to take over after the departure of Oscar Garcia, Will Still convinced everyone in just a month in Reims. The native of Braine-l’Alleud has been confirmed by his leaders as number one, even if he does not have the qualifications required for such a position.

“Reims has Still”. This title of an article published in L’Equipe on Sunday says a lot about the good work done by Will Still in Champagne-Ardenne. Before taking the reins of the team, the Walloon was Oscar Garcia’s assistant. At the beginning of October, the Spanish technician was fired because of the poor results of his team (7 points taken out of 27). Still was then only to ensure the interim until the appointment of a new coach.

A very satisfactory first assessment

Except that the balance sheet has since been very encouraging: under his leadership, Reims has garnered ten points in six games, two wins and four draws, with only two goals conceded. His team notably hung PSG (0-0) after a good performance. If we are far from an offensive fireworks display, the Champenois have regained a certain defensive solidity, thanks to the transition to a four-man defense. Above all, Still has united a whole group behind him.


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Everyone wants to continue with him. Sportingly, there’s no need to go looking for someone else

Yunis Abdelhamed, the Reims captain

Yunis Abdelhamed, the Reims captain, explains his mode of operation: “As an assistant at the start of last season, he was already leading the sessions, bringing a lot of variety. His departure (in October 2021 for Standard, before returning as an assistant to Reims in July 2022, editor’s note) had hurt us. By becoming the main coach, he has not changed. He always explains frankly what is working or not, he is very reactive and hyper sharp in his analyses. He knows how to find the right words with all his players, whether they are starters or not”.

Reims will pay a fine for each match

“Everyone wants to continue with him. Sportingly, there is no need to go looking for someone else. He was able to recreate a dynamic, where everyone was put in front of their responsibilities and gained confidence. His message gets through and he pulls the group up. His youth is an asset, because it allows him to have freshness”, concludes the Moroccan defender. It is for all these reasons that the leaders of the Stade de Reims have chosen to confirm him in his position.

And this, despite the fine of 25,000 euros per game, or 575,000 euros in total until the end of the season, which the club will have to pay. Indeed, the young coach (30 years old) will not obtain the required diploma (the UEFA pro license) until the summer of 2023.

William Still © AFP

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