Agreement has been reached for Richard O’Kelly to leave Brentford FC and join Dean Smith at Aston Villa. Richard joined Brentford at the same time as Dean, at the end of November 2015. He linked up with Dean at Walsall and the pair have worked together for more than six years, a relationship that will now continue at Villa.
Thomas Frank, who has worked as Assistant Head Coach at the Club since December 2016, took training last Thursday, 11 October, before the First Team group had a planned weekend off with no Sky Bet Championship fixtures taking place. The squad have returned to training this morning – apart from those still away on international duty – and Thomas will continue to take charge for the time being. There will be a further update on the Head Coach situation in due course.
Phil Giles and Rasmus Ankersen, Brentford FC Co-Directors of Football, offered their thanks to Dean and Richard for their work at the Club. The pair are currently working on the appointment of a new Head Coach and are assessing options concerning the structure of the coaching staff at the Club.
Phil said: “The departure of Dean and Richard happened very quickly but they both left on good terms. We understood Dean’s desire to take the job at Villa and everyone knows his history at that club. He wanted to take Richard with him and we were able to reach an agreement. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them both for all their work at Brentford FC, and look forward to meeting up with them again in future fixtures.”
Rasmus added: “Brentford is a club based on a clear idea about how to do things differently and Dean and Richard not only bought into this strategy but also added to it. We knew there was a possibility Dean and Richard could leave us and we had talked about it, but we have spent the past few days making detailed plans for the future. A change is also an opportunity and we will assess how we proceed with the coaching structure now we have a chance to do so. The loss of two people will not affect our ambitions and strategy and we will update fans when we can.”