Laurent Banide makes history as Oldham Athletic’s first overseas manager

IT will be a journey into the unknown for Oldham Athletic who have created history by appointing the first overseas manager in the club’s history, though he is being described as head coach.

New manager Laurent Banide

Frenchman Laurent Banide has taken over what has become a poisoned chalice as the 51-year-old becomes the seventh manager since 2017.

It marks a period of great instability as Banide follows on from Stephen Robinson, John Sheridan, Richie Wellens, Frankie Bunn, Pete Wild and Paul Scholes.

And the appointment of Banide, who has signed a 12-month contract, does not give any impression he is here for the long haul.

Indeed, Banide has managed 10 clubs since 2006-07, predominantly in the Middle East, which again shows he is not renowned for longevity in his managerial career which has also seen him have two spells as manager of top French club AS Monaco.

As a player, he appeared for Monaco, Marseille and Strasbourg so he does have an impressive pedigree.

The appointment of a foreign coach represents a huge gamble as Banide has no experience of English football, never mind the cut and thrust of Sky Bet League Two which he will be entering blind.

What was also surprising is that Banide has not gone for an English assistant to help impart knowledge.

Latics have appointed Bouziane Benaraibi who had notable coaching spells at Stade Rennais, AS Monaco and the Bahrain national team.

He was previously at Umm Salal, as assistant head coach to Banide and began his coaching career at French giants AS Monaco in the academy for an eight-year period.

Latics’ precarious finances ought to be more stable following the sale of central defender George Edmundson, 21, to Glasgow Rangers on a four-year deal for around £700,000.

The fee to take him to Ibrox could rise with add-ons and the deal includes a 20 per cent sell-on clause.

Rob Hunt, another defender, has also left after a mutual termination of his contract. He has joined League Two rivals Swindon Town.

Latics, who released seven players at the end of the season, have begun rebuilding.

They have signed goalkeeper Gary Woods on a two-year deal.

Woods has spent the last three seasons at Scottish Premier League club Hamilton Academical. Before that he played for Doncaster Rovers, Watford and Leyton Orient and a loan spell at Ross County helping them win the Scottish League Cup in 2016.

They have also signed defender Alex Iacovitti on a two-year deal, with an option for a third, following his departure from Nottingham Forest.

Latics have also signed defender Zak Mills, 27, on a one-year deal. He made 38 league appearances for Morecambe last season. He had previously played for Grimsby Town.

Latics will be paying their first visit to Africa since the 1960s when they toured Rhodesia.

They are to have a 10-day pre-season training camp in Morocco where they will play two friendlies against Sporting Club Chabab Mohammedia on July 10 and Raja Casablanca on July 14.

Off the field, Latics have appointed Natalie Atkinson as the club’s new managing director.

Natalie has previous experience of this role during her time at National League North sides Southport and Curzon Ashton.

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