French champions Lille appoint Gourvennec as coach after 2 years out of game

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Lille OSC have appointed Jocelyn Gourvennec as Christophe Galtier’s successor after the Ligue 1-winning coach joined OGC Nice earlier this summer.

The French champions have returned to preseason training and the ex-EA Guingamp and Girondins de Bordeaux boss has been introduced to his new players with the likes of Jonathan David and Timothy Weah part of the group he has inherited.

Gourvennec, 49, has been out of work since he left his second spell with EAG after their relegation from Ligue 1 and LOSC president Olivier Letang has found it difficult to convince candidates to take on Galtier’s former role with the Lille squad in the process of being stripped for talent to pay off significant debts .

“LOSC officially announces the appointment of Jocelyn as head coach,” read a statement. “A recognized tactician in the French championship, the former Bordeaux and Guingamp coach has been chosen to lead LOSC’s professional sports project.”

During his successful first spell between 2010-16, he led Guingamp back from the semi-professional third tier to the top-flight and even picked up the 2014 Coupe de France by beating Brittany rivals Stade Rennais for EAG’s second title after their 2009 success.

Gourvennec’s next posting was a mixed 20-month spell in charge of Bordeaux which saw him dismissed in the January of 2018 after a bad run of form undid a positive first season in charge at Matmut Atlantique.

“Jocelyn is a coach recognized for his hard work,” added LOSC. “He is ambitious and obsessed with performance. So many essential values are shared with LOSC.”

Gourvennec’s men have a Ligue 1 title to defend, as well as the UEFA Champions League group stage to compete in, and it will be a challenging post for the new boss who will make his competitive debut against deposed titleholders Paris Saint-Germain in the Trophee des Champions in Tel Aviv on August 1.

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