Without a coach since Nils Nielsen stepped down after a successful European Championships this summer, DBU (Dansk Boldspil-Union) have today announced that Lars Søndergaard will take charge at the Danish national team at the start of 2018.
Familiar to fans of both the Danish Superliga and Austrian Bundesliga, 58-year-old Søndergaard spent the first 14 years of his managerial career with Aalborg BK either working with the youth set-up, taking temporary charge of the first team or assisting Hans Backe before leaving in 2000. Leaving AaB with Backe when Peter Rudbæk took charge, Søndergaard and Backe opted for a change of scenery moving to Austria Salzburg, the Dane taking full charge when the Swede left the following autumn.
After Salzburg, Søndergaard moved to Austria Wien for a year before moving to Grazer AK, the manager at a tough time in the club’s history as they went into administration over the season. Unperturbed, the manager stayed in Austria, enjoying a spell with FC Wacker Innsbruck before moving back to Salzburg after they’d been bought out by Red Bull, the Dane taking charge of the youths for a season before returning to his homeland.
Following a season with Viborg FF, Søndergaard moved to SønderjyskE for four years before returning to Aalborg for half a year.
Though Søndergaard has never worked in women’s football before he admits he took an interest over the summer as the nation got caught up in the Euros and he’s excited about the challenges to come. A man, “not afraid to try something new,” taking charge of a national team “something special” for the coach.
Development manager at DBU, Lene Terp is pleased with the appointment saying Søndergaard is a “top-level coach with solid football skills,” as well as experience both home and abroad. The 58-year-old, someone with qualities to continue the upward development of the women’s team.
Søndergaard will formally take charge on the 1st January, with his first match coming 20 days later as Denmark travel to America for a friendly with the USWNT. His contract will run for three and a half years and take in a potential Euro 2021 final.