Jimmy Thelin a 'football mad vampire' as Aberdeen FC getting a manager who does things differently

Jimmy Thelin turned into a 'football-mad vampire' to land his first managerial job - and he's set to bring his inner Dracula to Aberdeen.

Swedish boss Thelin looks set to be named as the Dons' next permanent manager as they close in on the Elfsborg gaffer to replace Barry Robson. On the face of it it looks a forward-thinking appointment from Dave Cormack and the board and it's one that has excited punters after the short-lived tenure of Neil Warnock as Robson's interim replacement.

Thelin has earned things in football the hard way - the 46-year-old's first management job was at modest Jonkopings Sodra ten years ago, where his brother Tommy was the captain. He managed to win them promotion to the Swedish top flight for the first time in 46 years which brought him to the attention of Elfsborg. And brother Tommy revealed how player power persuaded the board of Jonkopings Sodra to appoint Thelin when he was only a youth coach at the club.

Jimmy Thelin -Credit:DeFodi Images via Getty Images
Jimmy Thelin -Credit:DeFodi Images via Getty Images

He said: "We believed in him a lot and told the board that Jimmy should get the job. We are very grateful that the board listened, and they are certainly grateful that we pushed for him.

"When Jimmy took charge, we were a club with almost no resources. We couldn't afford spies and analysts. So Jimmy became a kind of football-mad vampire - he stayed up half the night studying players and opponents.

"He did things differently from the start - for example, we didn't have a first choice goalkeeper. He decided who would be in goals based on the training performances of the week. He also stressed a lot that we don't call substitutes just substitutes because they are decisive. And true enough, his substitutes decided many games. I don't think it was a coincidence."

And Thelin himself revealed how he took his first steps in management. He said: "Many people thought I was too young to take the job because I was only 37. But I have had this passion for ten years. It started with me having a lot of opinions when I was playing myself. Instead of complaining, I wanted to try and coach.

"It is very tough to compete as an elite coach. If you are going to do that, you must have some ideas of your own. If you copy someone, you will only be a pale imitation of them. You're always one step behind.

"When I took charge, I tried to remove everything that had nothing to do with the game. No physical training or running or theory. We worked on everything on the pitch. I provoked the players during training too. It was my idea of mental training I have three rules - the most important thing in life is family, then comes football and then leisure interests."