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Proving a sensation in Ligue 1 – Will Still names Eddie Howe as somebody who inspires him

1 year ago
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Will Still is making headlines in France.

The short story is that in summer 2022 he was appointed assistant to manager Oscar Garcia at Reims.

Then after only one win in the opening 10 Ligue 1 matches of the season, Garcia was sacked.

This happening (on 13 October 2022) a day before Will Still was set to turn 30, the French club naming him as caretaker boss.

After five matches, Will Still getting the job permanently.

The (now) 30 year old has proved a sensation, since getting the job Reims are unbeaten in the league. Five wins and seven draws taking the club into the top half of the table and relegation worries now a distant memory.

The longer Will Still story is that his parents moved from the UK around 1990 and he was born in Belgium.

Will Still then raised in both England and Belgium and though a promising youth footballer himself, decided at the very early age of 17 to move from Belgium to England in order to study to become a football coach at college in Preston.

As part of his studies, Will Still did an internship at Preston North End and as part of that acted as assistant to the manager of the club’s under 14 side.

There the followed a return to Belgium and throughout his twenties working as a video analyst for various clubs there, before getting a number of coaching / assistant manager roles. Before then the big move when getting the job as assistant at Reims in 2021.

Will Still only lasted four months before moving back to Belgium as assistant at Standard Liege (Still explained that part of the reasoning behind this was the fact that his UEFA pro license was registered in Belgium, so he was having to drive back and forth between Belgium and Reims to attend courses, which was becoming a strain on his time).

However, last summer (2022) then seeing a return to Reims when offered the assistant’s role again.

After taking over as caretaker and then permanent boss at Reims, another reason for him making headlines, is that the Ligue 1 club are employing Will Still despite him not having all the required relevant qualifications / licenses to be a manager in the French top tier. As a result, each game Reims play under Will Still, currently means they pay £20,000+ per match in fines to the French football authorities.

Will Still has been speaking to media (Free) in France as he continues to make headlines, during the interview he was asked about which managers inspire him

“Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Vincent Kompany…who is doing an extraordinary job at Burnley.

“Eddie Howe at Newcastle.

“However, I will never be able to compare myself to all those guys, because they’re in another universe compared to me.”

The first couple are of course obvious, as is maybe Kompany as well, due to the Belgium and England connections.

Nice to see though that Eddie Howe is also such an inspiration for this up and coming young manager at Reims.

Maybe though Eddie Howe is also a very obvious inspiration.

The now Newcastle United manager was still in his twenties when injury ended his playing career and he moved into coaching, before becoming a manager at Bournemouth at the age of only 31.

A fairytale story then following, Eddie Howe taking the minnows from the brink of falling into non-league, all the way through every division before establishing Bournemouth in the Premier League for a number of years, against all the odds.

Another fairytale story now then rapidly becoming reality at St James’ Park, still only 45 and Eddie Howe doing incredible things with Newcastle United.

No wonder Will Still sees Howe as such an inspiration.

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