Lars Friis has been appointed as the new Individual Development Coach at Brentford FC. Lars will be leaving a First Team role at Danish Superliga side Aarhus Gymnastikforening, better known as AGF, to take on the role. He will start at the Club on 4 January and will be working with Brentford’s crop of promising young players.
Lars has been coaching for more than 20 years and holds a UEFA Pro Licence, the highest qualification available. He has been at AGF for two years and helped them reach the final of the Danish Cup in 2016. Lars has spent the majority of his career working at FC Midtjylland, where Brentford FC Owner Matthew Benham has held the majority shareholding since July 2014. He helped set up the academy at FCM, as they are known, in 1999 and worked there for eight years before taking up a role with the Danish FA coaching the youth teams from Under-16 to Under-21 level.
Lars returned to the FCM academy in 2009 and worked with the First Team from June 2013 until he left for AGF at the end of 2015. During his time with FCM they won the Danish title for the first time and qualified for the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.
Lars’ role at Brentford will be to accelerate the development of Brentford FC’s top prospects aged between 17 and 20 years old. Coaches from across Europe applied for the job and Lars came through a tough selection process that also involved putting on a coaching session with a group of B Team players.
Rasmus Ankersen, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, said: “This is a quite unique role in the sense that Lars won’t have any team responsibility on a week to week basis. He will only be focusing on the development of our most promising young players, especially those between the B Team and the First Team.
"Our ambition is to be the best club in England at accelerating the development of young players. Brentford cannot afford to buy the fully developed player. We need to bring in potential and then develop it to the next level. We have a strong track record of doing that in the past and with the appointment of Lars we want to sharpen our edge even more.
“Over the past few months we have gone through a process to find the right person for the job. We have interviewed people and we have even asked them to put on training sessions for us to experience them on the pitch. Lars has come out very strong. Not only is he a very knowledgeable and dedicated coach, on a personal level, he understands what it takes to communicate effectively with young players to get their potential to flourish. I welcome Lars to Brentford and look forward to him getting started. I hope his time with us will be successful.”