The CF Montréal head coaching role has only been vacant for just a few days, but someone is already throwing his hat in the ring to replace Thierry Henry: the team's assistant coach Wilfried Nancy.
Speaking to members of the media Tuesday, Nancy said that he has been ready for the job for some time, and discussed what life as an assistant coach has been like.
"I'm ready for that for a long time but I know my position," Nancy said. "As an assistant coach for me it was a good formation because it’s been a real formation and maybe I’m going to come back as an assistant coach and it will be good also for me. The fact that I was able to see a lot of coaches with different personalities, with different concepts, different ways to see football, for me it was a gift."
Nancy became an assistant coach at Montréal in 2016 after five years of working in the academy. As an assistant, he has worked under Mauro Biello, Remi Garde, Wilmer Cabrera and Thierry Henry. That experience has given him a clear vision for the team.
Nancy was eager to point out, though, that he wasn't getting ahead of himself when it comes to being chosen as Henry's successor.
"'I'm not saying that I'm going to be the coach soon," he said. "Maybe it could be now, maybe it could be later, I don’t know. I’m very comfortable with that and everything is clear with the club. But I’m eager to be able, one day, to coach the team because this is the normal progression for me."
For now, Nancy is focused on his task of guiding a young Montréal team as the MLS season approaches. He feels that the squad is well-suited to his own aims of resetting the team after Henry's sudden departure.
"My job first of all is to guide the players who want what I want," Nancy said. "The fact that the team is younger, it could be easier for them to understand and to guide toward what I want. Because when you coach older players sometimes they have bad habits and so to change that is difficult. It can happen but it’s easier when you have a young team to play the way you want."
That dynamic will prove essential as Nancy clearly plans to demonstrate his ability to lead a team, and particularly one he has 10 years of familiarity with.
"Today I know what I want," he said. "I know what kind of direction I want to give to the club."