Brentford job a big step up for former Dunfermline frontman Dijkhuizen
Having just scraped survival in the Eredivisie at Excelsior Rotterdam this season after earning promotion last term, Marinus Dijkhuizen now takes up the reins at Coral’s 9/1 Championship title joint-favourites Brentford.
This 6ft 6in Dutch target man turned coach had some brief previous exposure to British football during a loan spell at Dunfermline Athletic in the 2000/01 campaign.
Bees owner Matthew Benham explained this somewhat left-field choice to take on the job of getting the Griffin Park club up into the Premier League. “The appointment of the new head coach was a very important part of the restructure of the football management we have been undertaking,” he told Brentford’s official website.
“We wanted someone who could share our vision for the future. We want to be an innovative club in everything we do and having a head coach who thinks in that way was very important.”
Co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen added: “It has been important for us to find a coach who is open-minded, forward thinking and who has great man-management skills. In the recruitment process, Marinus has shown all those qualities and we are confident that he will be able to succeed in the role as head coach.”
While Dijkhuizen already has a top-flight promotion on his CV with Excelsior, getting out of the Dutch Erste Divisie is much easier than the cut-throat league that is the Championship.
Joining the Bees as co-promotion favourites at 3/1 are recently relegated Hull City and Derby County, now that they have secured the services of in-demand coach and former Real Madrid, PSG and Chelsea assistant Paul Clement.
With loan star Alex Pritchard set to return to Tottenham, and Premier League interest in fellow attacking midfielder Jota, Brentford could have some of their stars head-hunted.
One silver lining is there may be ready-made best of British replacements for these names. Scottish starlet Lewis Macleod was an under the radar winter window capture from Rangers, while impressive Northern Ireland international Stuart Dallas has shown real potential as an impact sub.
Compatriot striker Will Grigg may be kept at the club too, having fired MK Dons to promotion and could be an attacking alternative to leading marksman Andre gray. With such strength in depth, Brenford may just have the character to shrug off their play-off pain and get promoted.