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Next Up - Brentford & Nottingham Forest (Published in Sheffield Wednesday's Matchday Programme)

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

BRENTFORD 07/03, 3:00PM Brentford's 'B' team have attracted much attention for providing more young players a route through to the seniors whilst also protecting the club from the more financially powerful Premier League sides.

Perhaps the best example of the success of their youth system is the appointment of Thomas Frank in 2018. Frank took the role of head coach following the departure of now Villa manager Dean Smith.

Frank never registered a professional appearance in football and was keen to begin a coaching career in his early 20s. He moved around his native Danish youth systems coaching age groups as low as under 8s for sides such as Frederiksværk BK, Hvidovre IF, B93 and Lyngby.

It was his praiseworthy work at youth level that attracted the Danish national side to approach Frank in 2008 and he moved from the Under-16s up to the Under-19s in five years with the national side.

Impressive performances at youth World Cup levels were enough for Danish powerhouse Brøndby IF to take a chance on Frank after his 18 years of coaching and he guided them to Europa League qualifying rounds in both his seasons with the club.


The next side to visit Hillsborough are seeking a return to England's top table for the first time since their relegation in 1999. Forest fell through the trapdoor just one season after being promoted from the old Division One in what proved to be a campaign of drama and disappointment.

Dave Bassett guided the team to promotion but a treacherous run that saw them go 18 games without a win and a plummet to the foot of the table meant that the pressure was mounting.

This combined with Dutch striker Pierre van Hooijdonk refusing to play for the first three months of the season made for frustrating times to say the least. When he did return to the side, van Hooijdonk's team mates refused to celebrate a goal against rivals Derby with the rebellious frontman.

Bassett was replaced by Ron Atkinson just six months after the latter left Wednesday for a second time. Atkinson entered into a familiar troubleshooting position but an 8-1 defeat to Manchester United in February illustrated the level of the task.

Forest duly finished bottom of the league, 12 points from safety, having lost 22 of the 38 games that season.

Peter Jones @PeterKennyJones



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