Poles Apart: While his brother his making headlines with Reims, Ed Still is trying to keep Eupen in the Belgian Pro League

Will Still has been making headlines once again after his sides late draw with PSG once again showed his potential as one of Europe’s hottest young coaches. Reims have been unbeaten under Ed, with the club willing to pay thousands of euros every game due to his lack of licence. While Will did have a short spell in charge of Beerschot in Belgium during the 2020/2021 season, the club decided to go with Peter Maes instead for the 2021/2022 season. Will is now making a name for himself in France, while Beerschot had three head coaches and were relegated. Safe to say that decision proved costly.

However, during the 2021/2022 season it was Will’s brother, Ed Still, who was making a name for himself. Having begun as a video analyst with Sint-Truiden, Ed linked up with Ivan Leko as his assistant, which saw him take up roles at Club Brugge, Royal Antwerp and then Shanghai Port. At the start of the 2021/2022 season, Charleroi came calling for the young coach. The Zebras had been reeling from a poor second half of the season, which saw them plummet down the table. They turned to Ed to bring about a fresh approach.

Despite losing top scorer Shamar Nicholson halfway through the season, Ed guided the side to 6th place and a spot in play-off two. The signing of Vakoun Bayo in January from Gent had helped fill the gap left by Nicholson, but Bayo’s departure to Watford in the summer signalled the beginning of the end for Ed. The side struggled to start the season, without a recognised striker, and proved to be inconsistent. Following a 4-1 away defeat to Cercle Brugge, Ed was sacked. Despite all he had achieved the season before, the club decided to bring in former head coach Felice Mazzu.

Ed did not have to wait long for a new role. Eupen, having just sacked Bernd Storck, approached the 32-year-old. In stark contrast to his brothers current predicament, Ed is now fighting to keep the Pandas in the Belgian top flight. His first game in charge saw the side win a huge relegation battle with Seraing, thanks to a late Regan Charles-Cook goal. However, since then the results have not been in Ed’s favour. The side have picked up just two points from their previous five matches and sit level on points with third bottom Zulte Waregem. However, this did include a good display against league leaders Genk, with the side getting a 1-1 draw at home.

In a season where three sides will be relegated, the stakes in Belgian football have never been higher. Eupen, like Zulte Waregem, Kortrijk and Oostende, were incredibly active during the transfer window. Ed saw Loic Bessile, Alexander Fillin, Davo, Ibrahim Diakité and Brandon Baiye all join the club. With the new signings, the pressure is now on Ed to keep the side in the league.

Intriguingly, another Still brother is also involved in football. Nicolas Still is just 25 and the youngest of the three brothers. With a UEFA B licence to his name, he appears to be another aspiring coach from the Still family. Nico was a video analyst at Charleroi under Ed, but has now stepped into an assistant role working with the first team at Eupen.

While Will continues to make a name for himself across the border in France, but Ed and Nico will be hoping they too have a positive story to tell the family at the end of the season.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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