Renard checks in for Sochaux survival battle
Hervé Renard, who led Zambia to Africa Cup of Nations Glory in 2012, is to leave his post as Chipolopolo boss to become the new Sochaux coach.
Renard, 45, becomes the permanent successor to Eric Hély after Omar Daf's two-match interim spell in charge and takes on a Ligue 1 club for the first time in his peripatetic career. Renard beat off competition from a number of established coaches to claim the post and will be presented to the press on Friday. The club have revealed he'll sign a contract through to the end of the season with a one-year extension to kick in should Sochaux stay up.
A protégé of Claude Le Roy, Renard played once in Ligue 1 for Cannes in 1988-1989 and featured for France's Under-16s team alongside the likes of Marcel Desailly and Didier Deschamps. After a modest playing career he began to carve out a niche in coaching under Le Roy's tutelage.
Assistant to Le Roy at Shanghai Cosco, Renard followed his mentor to English club Cambridge United. He then struck out on his own to coach Cherbourg (National, D3) before again linking up with Le Roy with Ghana. Renard was appointed Zambia boss in 2008 and took the country to the quarters of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010. Brief experiences with Angola and USM Alger followed before he returned to Zambia, leading them to Africa Cup of Nations glory in 2012 as they beat Ivory Coast on penalties in the final.
With Zambia eliminated from the World Cup 2014 qualifying process, Renard's new task is to ensure Sochaux's Ligue 1 survival. Les Lionceaux have spent more years than any other club in the French top division and Renard takes over with them 19th in the table on five points. He'll link up with Zambian international forward Emmanuel Mayuka, on loan from Southampton.
Daf reverts to the assistant coach's position he held under Hély and Bernard Ginès (fitness coach) and Eric Pégorer are also staying on at the club.