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First Team

Dean Smith, Richard O'Kelly, and Thomas Frank sign contract extensions

Coaching trio agree new deals through to the summer of 2020

22 February 2018

Brentford FC Head Coach Dean Smith and Assistant Head Coaches Richard O’Kelly and Thomas Frank have all signed new contracts. The coaching trio have all extended their contracts for an additional year. This means they are now under contract at Griffin Park until the end of the 2019/20 season.

Dean and Richard have been at Griffin Park since November 2015. They joined The Bees from Walsall having worked together at the Sky Bet League One club for three-and-a-half-years. Thomas Frank was added to the First Team coaching staff in December 2016 to work alongside the pair. All three have now committed their futures to the Club.

Dean, 46, is in his second managerial role. After a 16-year playing career, during which he played almost 700 games, he moved in to coaching, initially at Leyton Orient. After working in youth development in East London and then as Assistant Manager, he moved to Walsall and was promoted from Head of Youth to take over the First Team in January 2011. 

Richard, who turned 61 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 six years. Thomas, 44, is working outside his native Denmark for the first time. After a spell in youth coaching, he worked for the Danish FA for more than four years and had two full seasons as manager of Brøndby IF.

Rasmus Ankersen, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, said: “We have been pleased to see the progress the team has made this season. We strongly believe that we are on the right path, and with the new contracts for Dean, Richard and Thomas we can now continue the hard work with stability in key coaching positions. At Brentford it is not about the individuals, it is about the team and the togetherness we need to compete in a very tough league. In Dean, Richard and Thomas we believe we have a very strong coaching team who complement each other very well.

“Dean is not just a strong leader, but also a real team player who buys into Brentford’s way of doing things. His man management skills have been critical to the progress the Club has made and we believe Dean will be a key component in achieving our ambitions in the years to come.

“Thomas has now been with us for a bit more than a year, and he has brought to the table exactly what we hoped he would – a lot of attention to detail and an extensive experience in developing a clear style of play. Richard is an experienced coach who has a lot to offer, not only in terms of his knowledge of the English game, but also in terms of his understanding of how a good team works together and interacts.”

Phil Giles, Co-Director of Football, added: "One of the most important aspects of keeping the Club competing in the Championship is being able to bring in young players and work with them to develop them as players and as people. That is important for the players, important for both first team and B Team and important for the financial stability of the Club. All three of our coaches are very good at developing and improving players. We believe that they can help us continue to improve our league position and attract a new generation of young players to Brentford in future."

The Bees currently sit tenth in the table and are just four points outside the Play-Off places with 13 games to go. Only two teams have scored more than Brentford’s 50 goals this season and The Bees are on course to better the points tally from the past two seasons – 65 and 64 respectively. Dean is currently the third longest-serving manager in the Championship.

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