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The INCREDIBLE Story of Will Still

3 minute read Published May 7, 2024

Are you or someone you know playing too much Football Manager? It’s happened to the best of us. Time just flies. You’ll check the watch and it’ll be 2 in the morning and the entire night’s been wasted. Maybe. Maybe not. For Will Still, it was the gateway to a real career and a spot as an actual manager. Here’s his story.

In 2022, when Oscar Garcia was sacked as the manager of Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims, his assistant manager got the interim job. That man was 30 year old Will Still. At just 30 years old and with no coaching licence, the Belgian/English prodigy was clearly not intended as the long term choice. 

Will Still was brought up in Belgium by English parents and started practising to become a manager already at age 14 by playing a Football Manager. He went through multiple positions within the coaching staff at Preston North End and Lierse. After starting as assistant manager, he got his first manager position at Beerschot and got the team to 9th. After the season, he was replaced as the club wanted a more experienced manager. This is when he first moved to Reims.

When he took the reins at Reims, the team was in 15th and had won just one out of the first ten games. Still drew his first game in charge and got Reims their second win of the season in his second game. As interim manager, you’re allowed five games. In his first five games Still won two and drew three. He more than doubled Reims points tally in half the number of games. More than that, he changed the team.

Appointed Manager at 30

Reims had a choice to make, they could bring someone else on. Or they could continue with an unlicensed 30 year old. They chose the latter. What this meant, though, was that they had to pay a fine, and it wasn’t cheap. For each game they had an unlicensed manager in charge, they paid €25.000. 



Still returned the favour. He went undefeated in all competitions for 14 games, including a double meeting with PSG in the French Cup, and undefeated in the league for 19 games. It can be hard to have authority as the manager in a dressing room where you’re younger than some of the players, but there’s no easier way than to just not lose.

Reims ended the league in 11th place in the 22/23 season, they’re currently in 12th. Reims and Still have now mutually agreed to end his tenure at the club.


Still has mainly set up his Reims in a 4-2-3-1 formation, moving to a 4-4-2 out of possession. The extra man up top helps the team press their opposition hard, far up the field. They like to press aggressively, to try to win the ball back far into the opposition half.

Reims have played aggressive and fast football under Still. The play very wide with the wing back pushing up the field and staying wide to pull the defending team apart. As the manager of an underdog team, predicted to finish 12th at the start of the season, it’s been a pretty brave approach.

Looking Forward

Will Still has previously expressed an interest in managing in the Premier League. Since the news broke about his leaving Reims, he’s been connected to a bit of a surprise club – West Ham. David Moyes contract is up in the summer and speculation has started about his replacement. It currently seems, however, like Lopetegui is the front runner for the job.

Whatever happens next for Will Still, he’s had a very impressive start to his managerial career. He was the youngest manager to ever coach in the top five leagues and he had the longest unbeaten streak for a new coach in Ligue 1 history. Additionally, his new club won’t have to pay a fine every game as he’s now got his licence. 

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