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Who is Will Still, Ligue 1 Reims manager who learned from Football Manager?

Reims has only lost one game of their 17 under the managerial tutelage of English-Belgian coach Will Still.

Reims' Belgian head coach William Still (C) celebrates after winning  the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Stade de Reims at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 29, 2023. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

This story may prove that to be a successful professional manager; one does not need to play professionally. Will Still, the Reims coach after the sacking of Spanish manager Oscar Garcia in October, is the sensation of Ligue 1. The thirty-year-old story inspires those who want to become professional coaches without a football background.

Will doesn’t have a professional UEFA license as of yet; for it, his team Reims has to pay twenty-five thousand euros every game until he gets one. The team is not bothered by this. The coach has shown to be more than qualified for the position. The team has only loss one match in their last 17.

How did Football Manager influence Will Still and help him arrive at Reims?

Will stated that he switched from playing to coaching at seventeen when he started playing the famous game Football Manager. The game created such an impact on him that he quit playing football and decided to study at Myerscough College to become a professional coach. Will got an internship with Preston North End as part of his studies, thus starting his career.

From there, he jumped to be a videographer for Yannick Ferrera at Sint-Truiden after convincing the ex-footballer to hire him following a riveting a game analysis. He would follow Ferrera to his next position with Standard Liege. Later, Ferrera would be sacked from his position, prompting Will to move to second division team Lierse as a videographer and assistant manager for Frederik Vanderbies.

While at Lierse, he was appointed as interim manager starting his first sting as a professional gaffer. After a couple of years of jumping from team to team in Belgium and France, he was offered a position under Oscar Garcia as an assistant manager in Reims. However, when the Spaniard Garcia was let go in October, Will was appointed interim manager once again for a team where he would do so well that the club offered him the full position.

Why does Reims have to pay a fine to employ Will Still?

Under UEFA rules, anyone who coaches a professional team has to have a professional pro license from UEFA. Coaches can finish their education in their respective countries and then apply for equivalency.

Even though he studied in England and did most of his professional work in Belgium, he can have his education and license validated in any European Country.


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