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Dean Smith and Richard O'Kelly sign new contracts

8 February 2017

Head Coach and Assistant Head Coach agree one-year extensions to Griffin Park deals

Dean Smith and Richard O’Kelly have signed new Brentford FC contracts. Head Coach Dean and Richard – one of his assistants, alongside Thomas Frank – have extended their deals for an additional year. They are now under contract with The Bees under the end of the 2018/19 season.

Dean and Richard have been at Griffin Park for just over a year. They joined The Bees from Walsall in November 2015 having worked together at the Sky Bet League One club for three-and-a-half-years. Dean, 45, is in his second managerial role. He took over at Walsall in January 2011 having previously been Head of Youth and, before that, Assistant Manager at Leyton Orient. Richard, who turned 60 last month, has worked at Grimsby Town, West Bromwich Albion, AFC Bournemouth and Doncaster Rovers among others and had a period as manager of Hereford United in 2012. He linked up with Dean at Walsall after leaving Hereford and the pair have worked together for almost five years.

Phil Giles and Rasmus Ankersen, Brentford FC Co-Directors of Football, have outlined what Dean and Richard have brought to the Club in the 15 months they have been with The Bees.

Phil said: "It is great news for the Club that both Dean and Richard are fully committed for the long term. It's no secret that 2015 was an up and down year for Brentford, but their arrival helped us to bring some stability and allowed us to concentrate on building some solid foundations for the future. In particular, we have reviewed our development model for younger players and continued to build a First Team squad of talented young players on long term contracts.

“Some of our performances this season have been excellent. With continued stability and development of the squad I'm confident that Dean and Richard can add consistency to the level of football we know we can achieve."

Rasmus added: “Brentford is a club based on a clear idea about how to do things differently and Dean and Richard have not only bought into this strategy but also added to it. When you take risks to try to gain a competitive edge not all you do will be successful. It is a bumpy road. But it is important to learn from mistakes and stick to what you believe in during tough times.

“Dean and Richard have increased the emotional stability around the Training Ground which means that no one gets too high when we win and too low when we lose. In an industry where emotions often run high both on and off the pitch that is easier said than done, but it is something we as a club believe is an absolute key to success in the future, and one of the reasons why we think Dean and Richard can help take us to the next level."

Brentford lost just one of Dean’s first six matches at the helm and finished the 2015/16 season in ninth place in the Championship. They ended the campaign with seven wins in nine games – losing only to promoted Hull City in that time – and finished the home season with a memorable win over neighbours Fulham. The Bees currently sit 13th in the Championship standings and are on the rise after a week that saw a 3-0 demolition of big-spending Aston Villa and a thrilling 3-3 draw with promotion favourites Brighton and Hove Albion, where Brentford led for most of the afternoon.

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