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Football: UEFA Cup winning coach Stevens takes over at PAOK

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Greek Super League club PAOK unveiled its' new coach on Tuesday experienced Dutchman Huub Stevens.

The 59-year-old - a former Dutch international defender - guided German club Schalke 04 to success in the UEFA Cup (it is now the Europa League) in 1997 and two German Cup triumphs in a successful first spell.

However, his second term there lasted only just over a year, he was sacked in December 2012, and was his last coaching post before PAOK hired him on a two year contract.

Stevens could have been one part of a high profile couple of new arrivals as the club's majority shareholder Ivan Savvides revealed he had asked Brazilian star Ronaldinho to sign for PAOK making an offer of 6.5 million euros which was rejected by the player.

Nevertheless Savvides was delighted with persuading Stevens to come on board.

"We wanted a top coach who knows European football. With great pleasure we welcome him to the family of PAOK," said Savvides at the official presentation of the new coach.

Stevens, who also among other clubs coached Cologne, Hamburg and Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, said that his goals matched those of the club.

"I am very happy to be in Thessaloniki and PAOK, a group that provides everything," he said.

"My goals match PAOK. If we win every day, we will be the ultimate winners. We know we have much work to do in a short time.

"We have a good squad and will start with this and then we'll see what we need," he added.

Stevens' squad was immediately strengthened when it was announced later on Tuesday that experienced Greek international defensive midfielder Alexandros Tziolis had signed a three year contract.

Tziolis, 28 and scorer of one goal in his 40 international appearances, cost the club nothing as he had been released by French Ligue 1 side Monaco.

le/pi

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130625/football-uefa-cup-winning-coach-stevens-takes-over-at-paok-0