Former Bolton manager Colin Todd describes club’s current situation as a disaster
Name: Colin Todd
Role: Head Coach
Previous clubs managed: Middlesbrough, Bolton Wanderers, Swindon Town, Derby County, Bradford City, Darlington.
Current club: Randers FC
Location: Randers FC are a Danish side who play in the top flight, and were founded in 2003. It is the sixth largest city in Denmark with a population of around 60,000. Its main tourist attraction is the tropical zoo which contains the largest artificial rainforest in Northern Europe. Thor beer is brewed in the city, and Randers is also home to an Elvis Presley museum called Memphis Mansion.
Playing Away From Home recently caught up with Colin Todd who is currently managing Danish side Randers FC. Todd is of course more known in Britain for his spells in charge of Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and Bradford City among others. He is currently in his second spell in charge of Randers FC in the Danish Superliga.
A first move to Denmark developed in 2007 and it came about through a former Bolton Wanderers player. “I spoke to one of my ex Danish players that I had at Bolton when I was a manager. Per Frandsen was an agent In Denmark and I asked him if there could be any jobs available – it snowballed from that question I asked – hence I became manager/coach at Randers. When I was at Bolton I signed three Danish players, Per, Michael Johansen and Claus Jensen.”
Todd is probably best remembered in England for his time at Bolton Wanderers, who he led to the Division One title in 1997 ensuring their move into their brand new Reebok Stadium would see them host Premier League football. Their stay in the top flight was short lived, and immediate relegation followed. He did lead them to the play-off final in 1999 but lost out to Watford. Bolton’s fortunes in the 2000’s under Sam Allardyce took an upturn thanks to the foundations put in place by Todd. But he is saddened to see the dramatic fall of the club, who will be playing League One football next season.
“My greatest achievement as manager was winning the championship with Bolton, it was a great honour. The current situation they are in though is a total disaster, and I feel for the club and the supporters.”
Colin Todd’s initial spell in charge of Randers lasted just 18 months before being replaced by former Arsenal midfielder John Jensen. Not many British managers make a successful move abroad, within the last few years David Moyes, Chris Coleman and Gary Neville have all tried but failed to hold down jobs outside of this country. However Todd found the transition to Danish football was made easier by the fact everyone speaks English. “There weren’t any major difficulties in moving over to Denmark, because everyone speaks English anyway. The biggest difference I noticed was the mentality and the culture of the players.”
He returned as manager of Randers in the summer of 2012 and in his first season back led them to third place in the Superliga. Not bad for a club formed in 2003. They have flirted with the Europa League on a few occasions but never got beyond the qualifying rounds, falling to Hamburg and Rubin Kazan to name two. When asked how he would compare the standard of Danish football to the English game Todd said “I feel the level Randers would be at is near the bottom of the Championship. The demand of playing 46 games in England would be difficult as we play only 33 and have a winter break”
However the more laid back approach in Denmark is what makes the former Derby County player miss England the most. “The thing I miss most about managing in England is the passion for the game and the atmosphere in the stadium. The difference in the passion and noise on a match day is one of the most noticeable differences between English and Danish football.”
The 67-year-old manager doesn’t harbour any ambitions of managing in England again though, and thinks more players and managers should look for opportunities abroad. “It’s a great chance to broaden ones knowledge by moving abroad.”
Thanks to Ib Rasmussen, Randers FC for assisting PAFH on this story.
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