Ligue 1 club confirm appointment of ex-Preston North End coach after Sunderland and Norwich City links

Will Still has made a decision over his managerial future. He is the new manager of Lens. (Image: BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)Will Still has made a decision over his managerial future. He is the new manager of Lens. (Image: BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
Will Still has made a decision over his managerial future. He is the new manager of Lens. (Image: BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images) | BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images
One of Europe’s best young managers started his career with Preston North End - but he won’t be returning to England.

Former Preston North End academy coach Will Still is the new manager of French club RC Lens.

Still became one of Europe's youngest managers when he took over at Reims at the age of 30, back in October 2022. The 31-year-old stood down from his role in May, with the club finishing ninth after his departure. Lens had been on the lookout for a new manager after Franck Haise took up the post at Nice.

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Still had been strongly linked with a move to Sunderland and was reported to have held talks with Norwich City - but has instead remained in France. He will get the opportunity to manage on the continental stage, with Lens in the UEFA Conference League play-off round - where they could potentially meet Chelsea.

"We are delighted with the arrival of Will Still," said Lens sporting director Pierre Dreossi. “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."

Born in Belgium to English parents, Still studied at Myerscough College in Preston and gained experience with North End's under-14s team, as part of a placement. He earned a move to Belgian side Sint-Truiden after impressing their manager and followed him to Standard Liege.

He worked as an assistant manager at Lierse and then landed the number one role, as well as taking on reins at Beerschot. Still was brought to France by former Brighton boss Oscar Garcia, and similar to his previous clubs, took over as caretaker and then was given the job on a permanent basis.

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