Aberdeen confirm Jimmy Thelin appointment as Dave Cormack reveals stiff Elfsborg resistance and plans for Peter Leven

The 46-year-old Swede will take charge of the Dons in June

Aberdeen have confirmed the appointment of Jimmy Thelin as their new manager.

The 46-year-old will leave Elfsborg in June alongside his assistants Christer Persson and Emir Bajrami and take up their roles at Pittodrie for the start of the 2023/24 campaign. The Dons have not officially disclosed the length of contract given to the Swede, who will leave the Allsvenskan club after six years at the helm. Previous to that, he managed Jönköpings Södra IF and FC Ljungarum. This will be his first role outside of his homeland Sweden.

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Current caretaker manager Peter Leven will take charge of Aberdeen until the end of the season and will then form part of Thelin’s backroom staff. The Dons take on Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-finals on Saturday and are currently ninth in the Premiership, five points clear of the relegation play-off spot with five matches remaining.

Jimmy Thelin. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello via Getty Images)Jimmy Thelin. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello via Getty Images)
Jimmy Thelin. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello via Getty Images)

“I am very honoured to be the new Aberdeen manager and to be coming to this great club and city,” said Thelin, whose Elfsborg team finished runners-up to Malmo in the title race last season. “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 took a provincial club 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 that the Dons, who have been searching for a permanent successor to Barry Robson since January, revealed that they face stiff resistance from Elfsborg to keep Thelin in Sweden. “We are delighted to be welcoming Jimmy to Pittodrie this summer,” 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.

Aberdeen have appointed a new manager, with Jimmy Thelin due to take over in June.Aberdeen have appointed a new manager, with Jimmy Thelin due to take over in June.
Aberdeen have appointed a new manager, with Jimmy Thelin due to take over in June.

“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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