AFC appointment with new manager on three-year deal


ABERDEEN FC have appointed Jimmy Thelin as manager from early June.

The Swede joins the Dons from IF Elfsborg on a three-year deal, bringing assistants Christer Persson and Emir Bajrami with him.

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The club had been searching for a permanent manager for 76 days since sacking Barry Robson in January.

Peter Leven was originally put in interim charge, before Neil Warnock was appointed on a deal until the end of the season.

However, the Englishman’s barely lasted a month, as he quit following a Scottish Cup win over Kilmarnock.

Leven has been in charge since, and will remain in the dugout until the end of the season as Aberdeen look to preserve their Scottish Premiership status.

Who is Jimmy Thelin?

Born in Jönköping, a city in South Sweden, Thelin, 46, has spent his entire managerial career in the country.

His career in the hot seat began with the youth team at Jönköpings Södra IF in 2009, before he was promoted to first-team manager at the second-tier side in 2014.

He led his team to promotion to the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s top division, in his first full season in charge.

Thelin joined IF Elfsborg in 2018, leading the side to a second-placed finish last season, only losing out to champions Malmö on goal difference.

Alan Burrows, Chief Executive, said the appointment represents a long-term strategy from the club:

“The review of football operations led by BPTC while revealing many existing strengths and good practice, provided a framework to ensure this managerial appointment was aligned with the club’s long term vision and strategy.

“Business leaders will understand the importance of cultural fit and character as well a candidate having the technical skills and track record to do the job. We believe have found someone in Jimmy with all of these and the ability to replicate the success he has had in Sweden in the Scottish environment.”

He added: “As a result of the detailed data-driven review and highly objective recruitment process we have just been through, we now have the blueprint for how all future Aberdeen managers are identified and recruited. It should be an ongoing succession planning process.

“Having said that, this is not about a quick fix but building something for the long term. Giving us stability, not volatility. Developing a strong spine to the club and the team ensuring that the player trading model can work without disrupting the pursuit of on-field success. Something that Jimmy demonstrated in his last two roles and we are confident he’ll replicate here.

“I’d like to thank our commercial partners and the wider Aberdeen business community for the incredible support they have given the club in recent times. We really need them to buy into this approach, be patient, continue to back us and help realise this new dawn together. After all, a successful team is great for morale and productivity in a city, which in turn is good for business.”

Speaking after he was announced as manager, Thelin said: “I am very honoured to be the new Aberdeen manager and to be coming to this great Club and city.

“I wanted to be sure I was making the right step in my career, particularly as this will be my first time managing outside of Sweden. At Elfsborg we work hard together to compete at the top level and it is our intention to achieve the same at Aberdeen.

“The feeling I have about what I have seen at the Club, the staff and the facilities was all very impressive. The vision, effort and support offered by Dave, Alan and Steven have also convinced me it is a great opportunity for me and the Club.

“I can promise the fans we will be striving to build and a develop a team that captures the hearts of the supporters and delivers success on the pitch.

“I’m looking forward to working with Peter and the players and I hope they get the win at Hampden this weekend.”

Chairman Dave Cormack said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Jimmy to Pittodrie this summer.

“The extensive process we ran allowed us to speak with several excellent candidates from both the UK and abroad. As the process evolved, we were determined to land Jimmy and were prepared to be patient. Elfsborg certainly didn’t make it easy for us, which tells you how highly they think of his six-year tenure.

“The Board felt that Jimmy’s style and playing philosophy, his ability to continually develop excellent players within a successful player trading model and his experience at taking a team and having them compete at the top end of the table all really matched the criteria we had set out at the start.

“He has a reputation in Sweden as a team builder; someone who will methodically construct a winning side over time. From our point of view, we want this appointment to anchor the Club for years to come, and to work with Jimmy and his coaching staff to create something special at Aberdeen. That will take time, we understand that.

“Everyone at AFC is looking forward to working with Jimmy from June and, at the same time, are very thankful to Peter Leven for agreeing to lead the team until the end of the campaign. I would ask the fans to get right behind Peter, and the team, in the remaining matches of the 23/24 campaign.”

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