Brentford B Head Coach Lars Friis will leave at the end of the season to return to his native Denmark. Lars arrived in West London at the start of the 2018 when he was appointed Individual Development Coach. He took over as Brentford B Head Coach late last year when Kevin O’Connor stepped up to the First Team coaching group. He will leave that post when the 2018/19 season ends in May and Brentford will be recruiting both a new B Team Head Coach and a new Individual Development Coach over the summer.
Lars has been coaching for more than 20 years and holds a UEFA Pro Licence, the highest qualification available. Before arriving at Brentford at the start of last year, he was at Danish Superliga side Aarhus Gymnastikforening, better known as AGF, having previously worked with the Danish FA and FC Midtjylland, where Brentford FC Owner Matthew Benham has held the majority shareholding since July 2014. In his two years at the Danish FA, Lars helped coach their youth teams from Under-16 to Under-21 level and was at FC Midtjylland when they won the Danish title for the first time and qualified for the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.
Since Lars took over as Brentford B Head Coach, his team have won ten of their 16 games. They have also progressed to the final of both the Middlesex FA Senior Cup and the London Senior Cup. Both finals will be played in the next month. Three B Team players have also made First Team debuts in the last month with Nikolaj Kirk, Jan Žambůrek and Patrik Gunnarsson taking the number of players to come through that path to competitive First Team football to 12.
Lars said: “I have spent a lot of time thinking and the decision to leave the Club at the end of this season has not been an easy one to make. I am so proud of my time at Brentford, of what everyone continues to achieve and the environment that exists within both the B Team and the First Team group. I’d like to thank all the staff – particularly the Directors of Football Rasmus Ankersen and Phil Giles, the players and, of course, Matthew for making this club so special. It’s like one big family, and I’m happy to have been a part of it.
“I have taken the decision so I can move back to my family in Denmark, but for now I still have a job to do. We have around two months of the season to go, two cup finals to win and there are players here that I want to help progress. This is a very important time and we have players here that can follow Kirky, Jan and Pat in to the First Team in the coming months if they maintain their rate of progress. I am excited about the next few months and also about the future for Brentford and the young players here.”
Rasmus Ankersen said: “I would like to thank Lars for his significant contribution to Brentford over the past 18 months. Lars is an outstanding coach and highly respected by both staff and players at the Training Ground. Since he arrived at Brentford, he has had a big impact on the development of our most talented players, and during the managerial change in October last year, he stepped up to help the First Team manage the transition. On behalf of everyone at Brentford, I wish Lars all the best in the future."