Fernandez to replace Girard at Montpellier

22 April 2013 01:46

Out-going French champions Montpellier on Monday confirmed that Jean Fernandez will succeed Rene Girard as coach next season.

Fernandez, 58, who left struggling Nancy in January, will sign a two-year deal with Montpellier which will come into effect from July.

Girard took over at the Stade de la Mosson in the summer of 2009 but Montpellier president Louis Nicollin revealed last month that he would not be offering his title-winning coach an extension to his existing deal, which expires at the end of this campaign.

Nicollin had revealed on French television on Sunday night that Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti and Real Sociedad's Philippe Montanier were contenders for the job, while former Paris Saint-Germain coach Antoine Kombouare and ex-Bordeaux boss Jean Tigana had also been linked.

Nicollin claimed to have contemplated an approach for Diego Maradona, but the free agent Fernandez has been given the nod and will recommence a coaching career that began at Cannes in 1985.

He has also had two spells in charge of Marseille and took Auxerre into the Champions League during a five-year stint in Burgundy between 2006 and 2011.

Girard will be remembered as one of Montpellier's most successful coaches, having taken them to fifth place in Ligue 1 in his first season in charge, followed by a run to the League Cup final in 2011 and then to the first title in their history last season.

However, with five games of the current campaign remaining, the southern side lie eighth in the table and are unlikely to qualify for Europe next season.

Source: AFP

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