Impact introduces coaching staff

Maxence Flachez, Joël Bats, Robert Duverne and Wilfried Nancy will assist Rémi Garde

MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact head coach Rémi Garde introduced on Wednesday the first team’s coaching staff for the 2018 season.

Assistant coach Maxence Flachez, goalkeeper coach Joël Bats and fitness coach Robert Duverne are all joining the Impact after previously working with Rémi Garde at Olympique Lyonnais. The club also announced that Wilfried Nancy will return as assistant coach, after serving in that position for the last two years with the first team.

“I am very satisfied to be able to rely on a coaching staff that I know on a personal and professional level,” said Montreal Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “Joël Bats and Robert Duverne have many seasons of experience at the highest levels of European football. Their knowledge and passion for the sport will benefit the progression of the team and its players. Maxence Flachez, who has played over 500 games in France, is a fitness coach who has taken part in the development and breakthrough of numerous young players from Lyon’s academy. His expertise is now at the service of the professional players at the Impact. I also wanted to count on someone who knew the club well. I therefore decided to keep Wilfried on the staff as well.”



Before joining the Impact, Flachez served as head coach for the Olympique Lyonnais reserve team, which plays in the Championnat national 2, for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. He previously led the OL U19 team to the final of the Coupe Gambardella, in the 2014-15 season, acting as head coach for two years.

As a player, Flachez appeared in 519 games and scored 19 goals in 17 regular seasons in France from 1992 to 2009 as a central defender, playing in 271 Ligue 1 games, 239 Ligue 2 games, six Europa League games, 14 Coupe de France games and 16 Coupe de la Ligue games.

He won the Ligue 2 championship with Sochaux in 2001 and with Valenciennes in 2006, and a Coupe de la Ligue with Sochaux in 2004.

On the international stage, he was part of the French U21 team from 1992 to 1995.



Bats spent the last 17 seasons training Olympique Lyonnais' goalkeepers, in the French top division, including several international players that helped the club win prestigious trophies, such as Grégory Coupet (2000-2008), Rémy Vercoutre (2002-2014), Hugo Lloris (2008-2012) and Anthony Lopes (2012-2017).

Originally from Mont-de-Marsan, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, he was part of the historic run that saw Lyon win seven Ligue 1 championships between 2002 and 2008, while also winning two Coupes de France in 2008 and 2012, one Coupe de la Ligue in 2001 and seven Trophées des Champions.

After seven seasons between the goalposts with Paris Saint-Germain, Bats started his coaching career in 1992 with the Parisian club, coaching the goalkeepers until 1994 before serving as assistant coach under Luis Fernández during two seasons. He was then promoted and acted as co-head coach with Ricardo Gomez from 1996 to 1998, leading the team to the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue in 1998, while also reaching the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final and finishing as the Ligue 1 runners-up in 1997.

Developed at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, Bats had an outstanding playing career as a goalkeeper, making his professional debut in 1976 after two seasons with the reserve team. Following four seasons with Sochaux, he played five years with Auxerre, starting 184 games.

In 1985, Bats signed with PSG and helped the club win its first ever French first division title. He was the starting goalkeeper until retiring in 1992, after 285 games in the Parisian outfit.

At the international level, Bats appeared in 50 games with the France national team, making his debut with Les Bleus on September 7, 1983, against Denmark. He won the 1984 Euro and helped France finish third in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, in Mexico.



Following an amateur soccer career and earning his STAPS (Science and Technique of Physical and Sports Activities) Master’s Degree in 1990, Duverne jointed the Olympique Lyonnais technical staff under head coach Raymond Domenech. He served as fitness coach with OL from 1991 to 1993, from 1995 to 2009 and then from 2011 to 2014, working alongside several head coaches, including Raymond Domenech, Guy Stephan, Bernard Lacombe, Paul Le Guen, Gérard Houllier, Alain Perrin, Claude Puel and Rémi Garde.

Originally from Lyon, he was part of the historic run of seven consecutive Ligue 1 championships between 2002 and 2008, while also winning two Coupes de France in 2008 and 2012, one Coupe de la Ligue in 2001 and seven Trophées des Champions.

He also held the same duties with the French national team with Domenech, joining Les Bleus in 2006 for their preparation ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Germany. He left Lyon in June 2009 to focus exclusively on the national team and its qualifying campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, in South Africa.

He briefly worked with Arles-Avignon after the world tournament and then joined Gérard Houllier at Aston Villa, in the Premier League, from September 2010 to April 2011.

After his three last seasons in Lyon under Rémi Garder, Duverne acted as fitness coach with FC Metz from August 2012 to November 2014, before returning to Aston Villa, this time with Garde, for the 2015-16 season.

He also served as assistant coach with RC Lens, in Ligue 2, for the first half of the 2017-18 season.



Nancy will begin his third season as first-team assistant coach, after being appointed on January 7, 2016.

He previously served as a coach with the Academy since its inception in 2011, successively acting as U18 head coach from 2011 to 2013, U21 head coach in 2014 and U16 head coach in 2014 and 2015.

Before joining the Impact, Nancy coached at the AAA level in 2006 and 2007 and acted as technical director of the South Shore regional soccer association in 2008. He also coached at the provincial level.

Originally from Toulon, in France, he played professional soccer from 1997 to 2005 with Sporting Toulon Var in Ligue 2, with Raon-L’Étape and Noisy-Le-Sec in the National division and with Beaucaire, Châtellerault and Orléans in the CFA division.



The Impact has also announced that Julien Lamblin will join the club as Head Physiotherapist, replacing Richard Collinge who went back to England at the end of last season, along with osteopath Renaud Dumortier.