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Stevens accepts PAOK post

Coach Huub Stevens said he will do everything "to create a competitive team that the fans can embrace" after the announcement he will sign a contract with PAOK FC next week.

Huub Stevens had been out of work since leaving Schalke in December 2012
Huub Stevens had been out of work since leaving Schalke in December 2012 ©Getty Images

Greek Super League runners-up PAOK FC have reached an agreement with Huub Stevens for the Dutchman to take over as coach.

In a statement, the Salonika club said the 59-year-old will be presented to the media next week when he arrives in Greece to finalise the terms of the deal and sign his contract. The two-time FC Schalke 04 trainer succeeds Giorgos Georgiadis, who led the side through the end-of-season play-offs following the departure of Giorgos Donis in late April.

Speaking to the PAOK website, Stevens said: "PAOK are a club representing hard work – I have always felt at home with such teams. Our goal is to help PAOK go forward. We will do everything in our power to create a competitive team that the fans can embrace."

PAOK president Zisis Vryzas expressed his delight that "a coach of Huub Stevens's stature has agreed to lead PAOK to a better future. He believes in hard work and discipline and has a lot of success in top leagues to show for this."

Well-travelled Stevens began his coaching career with Roda JC, moving to Schalke in October 1996 and overseeing a penalty shoot-out victory in that season's UEFA Cup final against FC Internazionale Milano, in addition to German Cup triumphs in 2001 and 2002.

After spells with six clubs – Hertha BSC Berlin, 1. FC Köln, Roda, Hamburger SV, PSV Eindhoven and FC Salzburg – Stevens returned to Schalke in 2011 and steered them to a third-place finish. He was dismissed in December 2012 with the Gelsenkirchen outfit in seventh spot in the Bundesliga.

PAOK, eliminated in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round in 2004/05 and 2010/11, start their European campaign at the same stage on 30/31 July.