Managerial prodigy Will Still has admitted he would ‘love’ to return to England and ‘dreams’ of taking charge of a team in the Premier League.
30-year-old Still, who led Reims to a 17-game unbeaten streak in Ligue 1 that ended only recently, was born to English parents in Belgium and started his career in their homeland as a youth coach at Preston North End after initially studying in the city.
Still recently set the record straight about his reputation as a ‘Football Manager geek’, while his achievements in France and his English heritage have prompted speculation about a possible move to the Premier League in the future.
Already linked with recent vacancies at Leeds and Southampton, Still told Sky Sports it ‘seems completely stupid’ to be talked about in such ways.
“I’ve never really thought about [managing in the Premier League] because I never expected to be in the position I am so early and so suddenly,” he said. “Why not? I’ve done some crazy things in the past; I was head coach at 24 and the same thing happened at 28 back in Belgium and now I’m 30 and people are saying this is crazy.
“Being English and growing up in an English environment in Belgium, England has always felt like home and a place that I’d love to go back to. It would feel like coming home, just because the English culture is part of me, part of my roots, part of my family, part of who I am.
“I think if you asked any kid what they would like to do, they’d say they’d love to be a Premier League footballer or manager and I’m no different. I was brought up like everyone else and had the same dreams. I’ll keep at them.
“If it happens one day I’ll deserve it, or I hope I will have deserved it, but I realise how much work there is to do before I get there and how much I’ve got to learn. For now, I will stick it to one side.”
Still went on to namedrop Sir Alex Ferguson as a significant inspiration, owing to his longevity and ability to evolve his teams to continue competing.
“He’s remarkable for the period of time he spent at United and also the number of times he was able to repeat and renew a cycle, whether it was the squad, staff or whoever was in the club. They kept on being successful,” Still explained.
“Something I want to be able to do is to renew myself and stay up to date with the latest ways of playing, the latest ways of communication, the latest animating drills and setting new exercises in training. I definitely hope I’ll be a better coach in five to 10 years.”