Changes to Under-21 roles announced.
Flemming Pedersen has taken over as Head Coach of Brentford’s Development Squad, with Kevin O’Connor as his assistant. Flemming arrived at Griffin Park in the summer as Head of Football Philosophy and Player Development and has been working with players and coaches throughout at all levels of the Club. From today, Monday, 4 January, he will take responsibility for the development of Brentford’s Under-21 players.
Flemming – who holds a UEFA Pro Licence, the highest possible football coaching qualification – will work alongside Kevin O’Connor with the Development Squad group. Kevin will act as assistant to Flemming while he continues his own development as a coach. Kevin has been part of the Under-21 coaching set-up for the past six months and led the group when Lee Carsley stepped up from Development Squad Head Coach to the same role at First Team level on an interim basis.
Rasmus Ankersen, Co-Director of Football at Brentford FC, said: “When we brought Flemming to the Club we highlighted his experience as a coach. He has a lot of experience of developing and implementing a style of play that can run through the Club from top to bottom. He has worked with players and coaches from First Team level to our youngsters in the Academy and helped with the Development Squad when Lee Carsley was Head Coach.
“With Dean Smith and Richard O’Kelly now in place as Head Coach and assistant, the coaching structure at First Team level is working how we want. There is an important job to be done in helping our next generation of players making the step to the First Team from the Development Squad and the Academy. Flemming will bring more than 30 years of coaching experience to that role.
“Kevin O’Connor has done a great job and demonstrated excellent potential as a coach, particularly when leading the Development Squad over the past few months. It is important that the Club supports the development of coaches as much as the development of players. We believe Kevin can learn from Flemming and improve as a coach working with him. Kevin will have an important role to play in developing future Brentford players and he will also represent the Club on visits to other clubs and organisations in order to improve his knowledge on the latest innovations in football, knowledge he will be able to share with our other coaches.”
Flemming started coaching in his native Denmark when he was 18 and worked in youth development for more than ten years. He was in the position of Head Coach at FC Helsingør, in the Danish third tier, before he turned 30 and has coached in the professional game for more than 20 years. During that time he has coached a number of Danish internationals including William Kvist, Nicklas Bendtner and Brentford central defender Andreas Bjelland, when the pair were at FC Nordsjælland.
Flemming worked at FC Copenhagen and spent eight years at Nordsjælland, taking over as First Team Coach in 2011. He helped Nordsjælland win two Danish Cups and one national title. Nordsjælland then reached the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League in 2012 with Flemming playing a key role. Flemming then moved to German side 1. FSV Mainz 05 in 2014 when Kasper Hjulmand – who he had worked with at Nordsjælland – moved to the Bundesliga side, before coming to West London.
Brentford’s Development Squad are fourth in the Under-21 Professional Development League South. They have also reached the last 16 of the Under-21 Premier League Cup, beating Queens Park Rangers and Reading. Flemming’s first game in charge will be in the next round of the Under-21 Cup, away to Charlton Athletic on Wednesday, 6 January.