Aberdeen announce Elfsborg boss as new manager

The Swede is to take charge of the Premiership club from June.

Aberdeen announce Elfsborg boss Jimmy Thelin as new manager at Pittodrie Getty Images

Aberdeen have confirmed the appointment of Jimmy Thelin as their new manager, with the Swede to take charge this summer.

The Elfsborg boss emerged as the Dons’ top target to reshape the team and agreement has now been reached to take him to Pittodrie.

However, he’ll wait until the end of the current campaign before taking up his new post with Peter Leven remaining as interim Aberdeen boss for this weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic and the post-split fixtures.

An Aberdeen statement read: “Jimmy Thelin has been appointed as the twenty-fifth permanent manager of Aberdeen Football Club.

“The Swede, together with assistants Christer Persson and Emir Bajrami, will leave their current roles at Allsvenskan side IF Elfsborg this summer, taking up post at Pittodrie in early June.”

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.”

Thelin joins after a successful spell at Elfsborg, where he has built a reputation as an up-and-coming manager who can put together a winning team and help a club operate a successful player trading model.

The 46-year-old started out as a manager at Ljungarum in the Swedish sixth tier in 2005 but it was nine years later at Jonkopings Sodra when he first made his name, taking the team to promotion and ending their 46-year absence from the Allsvenskan.

A move to Elfsborg followed in 2018  and he has built a reputation there, taking the team into Europe on several occasions and guiding them to second place in the league last season. 

“We are delighted to be welcoming Jimmy to Pittodrie this summer,” Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack said.

“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.”

The appointment ends a long wait for the permanent successor to Barry Robson to be confirmed, with both Neil Warnock and Peter Leven taking charge of the side for interim spells since Robson was sacked in January.

Veteran English manager Warnock had joined the club in early February, with Aberdeen saying he would be in place until the end of the season while a review of the football department took place and a long-term appointment identified.

However, Warnock left the job after 34 days, without a league win, and Aberdeen said that they were in the “advanced stages” of appointing a new boss.

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