‘I want to come home’ – Will Still opens up on desire to work in England

It’s no secret that Will Still’s work as Stade de Reims manager has gained admirers in England, intrigued by his ability to turn a low-budget Ligue 1 side into a team that has at times looked capable of challenging for a European place. 

Sunderland in December were reportedly interested in the prospect of Still becoming their next manager after Tony Mowbray was relieved off his duties. And the club were thought to have been in communication with the Reims’ manager before instead turning to Michael Beale – an unhappy tenure that lasted only 12 games before he was sacked on Monday. 

Still explains in an interview with The Athletic, “It was a lot of noise for something that never really happened. There has been interest, I’m not going to lie about it. I’d rather be open and honest, and I think I was. We’ve had interest. People have wanted to talk to us. This is the reality of the situation.”

However, while the Sunderland job never became a reality, Still has been clear that his ambition is to someday return to a country that he still refers to as “home.” As he clarifies, “I’ve been abroad all my life, and I’ve been working in an environment that isn’t quite mine all my life. And I just want to come home.”

‘The Premier League is the ultimate dream’ – Will Still

What appears to be the most important factor to Still, is not so much the location or the team, but the sense that the club’s aim and approach matches that of his own. “if there’s a Championship club that’s ambitious, that wants to work in the right way and be open and honest about things, and really try and push to get somewhere, then I would love to do that.

Still continues, “Obviously, the Premier League is the ultimate dream for any manager in the world. I’m not in a rush, either… I’ve never really had a career plan. I’ve never set a timing on anything. I’ve just waited for opportunities to come up; see how it feels, see what it’s like.” 

It appears as if time is running out for Reims and their manager, tensions between the two have grown this season following a winter transfer window that saw the club rebuild rather than consolidate an impressive start to the campaign. A release clause is thought to become active during the summer, where a club could prize the young manager from France for €6 million. And perhaps Still will return “home”. 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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