« Coaching Stade Rennais F.C. is a magnificent challenge »

Olivier Cloarec, Executive Chair and Managing Director, Florian Maurice, Technical Director, et Julien Stéphan, coach of Stade Rennais F.C., appeared at a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the extension of the Rouge et Noir coach's contract. 

Stade Rennais F.C.
© Stade Rennais F.C.

The extension

Olivier Cloarec : « The press conference was held to make official Julien Stéphan's two-year extension, with the possibility of an extra year if the club qualifies for the European Cup. This is anything but a surprise, as the extension reflects the excellent work Julien and his staff have been doing since November. They have restored confidence and life to the group, leading to these very positive results. I'd like to congratulate Julien on his excellent work, with the support of the whole club, Florian, the players and myself. Our aim is to build with him, and we felt it was important to do so at this time to bring serenity and prepare for next season. We see Julien and his staff as part of a continuum. ». 


Florian Maurice, directeur sportif : « Since Julien's arrival, the team has come back to life. I've never doubted the quality of this squad, but we needed a rebound, that spark. Julien has done that in a very strong way, by imposing his style. The results speak in his favour, and this extension is completely logical. ». 


Julien Stéphan, entraîneur : « I'd like to thank everyone who helped make this extension possible. The shareholder, the Pinault family, Florian, the Chairman, the dressing room too. The players have contributed through their efforts and their victories. The staff and I are very happy to be continuing in this fine house. I sensed very quickly from our discussions that there was a consensus that we should continue. I'm very happy, focused on the final sprint and the energy we need to continue to put in to succeed in the best possible way. ». 


The timing of the announcement

Julien Stéphan : « It brings clarity, and coaching Stade Rennais F.C. is a magnificent challenge and a fantastic opportunity. The extension is also a logical step, because we live very well together and the Chairman and I are very often in agreement. My relationship with Flo' is also very fluid, there are no difficulties. The Chairman and Flo' have built this team, and the dynamic proves them right, as do the human and sporting qualities of this group with its 'good guys' who have fought hard to regain their confidence. It's great to be working in these conditions.

In fact, I've heard and read a lot of false things about my relationship with Flo', which is very different from what I experience on a day-to-day basis. Our ambition is always to keep moving forward, and there's serenity in the dressing room and in the relationships between us. There's a very clear division of roles at the club ». 


Stade Rennais F.C.
© Stade Rennais F.C.

The coach's development since his first appointment

Julien Stéphan : « I'm learning to put things into perspective, to take a step back and look at the irrational side of football. I've also learnt to focus on the dressing room: if the players get on well together, you can achieve the best possible results. A lot of things have changed in the way I operate, but we're always focused on winning. If we're at Rennes, with the staff, it's because we're ambitious and that's what the club needs to be. ». 


The club's objectives

Olivier Cloarec : « We're very ambitious, which means we want to finish as high as possible. For this season, Julien said that we would take stock after Monaco.  We're all very ambitious, the shareholders, the fans and the partners. We're going to give it our all over the eight games, not forgetting the forthcoming Coupe de France semi-final.

Our ambition is still the same; after six consecutive qualifiers, it's to qualify for Europe again. Stade Rennais F.C. has a recent history that places it in an attractive position on the national and European stages. Our ambition next season will be to play a leading role. ». 


Florian Maurice : « The message is simple: we're united to finish the season very well. The team's momentum is exceptional thanks to Julien's work. We also want to build something for the future of Stade Rennais F.C.. The last four months have been very smooth. We are employees of Stade Rennais F.C. and we have a duty to give the best of ourselves. My role is to satisfy Julien in terms of recruitment. We speak the same footballing language. I'm at Stade Rennais F.C., I want to continue and I'm looking forward to working with Olivier, Julien and the team. ». 


Julien Stéphan : « These four and a half months have done me a lot of good. Getting back into the daily routine of a dressing room, the adrenalin, experiencing some very positive moments, some happy months. You do this job to share. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to give the impression that the season is over, it's just a stage. We have a season to finish in the best possible way. ». 


Entretien | Julien Stéphan, Rouge et Noir jusqu'en 2026 !