Former Bastia boss Ghislain Printant has been officially named as the successor to Jean-Louis Gasset, having signed a two-year deal to coach AS Saint-Etienne on Thursday.
"He was the obvious choice," declared club co-president Roland Romeyer when the announcement was made. "We want to keep the ball rolling following the excellent work that Jean-Louis Gasset and his team did. Ghislain knows the squad and the league perfectly. It's a solid choice given what we've achieved and the place that our youth academy players have in our sporting project. Ghislain Printant is both a leader of men and an educator at heart. He has shown great enthusiasm for the job as he has a deep love for AS Saint-Etienne."
Ambition and energy
Printant's last outing as a head coach with with SC Bastia in Ligue 1 Conforama from November 2014 to January 2016, during which time he led the Corsican side to the final of the Coupe de la Ligue BKT (against PSG in 2015).
"I have the ambition and the energy needed to continue the work that has been done over the last 18 months with Jean-Louis Gasset," said the 58-year-old after penning his new deal. "Saint-Etienne is one of the great French clubs. We have managed to get the club back to where it belongs by putting in a huge effort on and off the pitch. I'm up to the task that awaits me and I hope to live up to the expectations for the club's directors and fans."
Gasset's right-hand man since there arrival at Saint-Etienne, Printant was the first choice for several of the players, including influential midfielder Yann M'Vila. Under the aegis of the the Gasset-Printant duo, Les Verts enjoyed an incredible turnaround in the space of 18 months, climbing from the bottom of the table to finish in seventh place in 2017-18 and then superbly clinching fourth place in the season just passed.
In opting for the project presented by Printant, Saint-Etienne's directors opted for continuity in the season that lies ahead, with its mix of league and UEFA Europa League group-stage excitement.