A catch-up with Per Frandsen

It has been almost 14 years since the last time he put on the shirt, but Whites fans will never forget the name Per Frandsen.

During a seven year stint with the Trotters across two different spells, the Dane made 307 appearances for Wanderers, netting 39 times and playing a key role in the club’s 1996/97 and 2000/01 promotion winning seasons

Frandsen joined Wanderers from F.C. Copenhagen in the summer of 1996, and his performances were not only enough to help the team secure promotion to the Premier League, but they also earned the then 27-year-old a place in Denmark’s squad for the 1998 World Cup in France where they reached the quarter-final stage.

After spending a year at Blackburn Rovers in 1999, Bolton opted to re-sign Frandsen ten months later and his return to the side saw the team reach the play-offs and subsequently earn another promotion to the Premier League in 2001 under Sam Allardyce.

During his second spell at Macron Stadium meanwhile, Frandsen played a key role in the Whites’ 2002/03 survival campaign and he then featured in the 2004 Carling Cup Final before leaving the club at the end of that season.

Since departing BL6 however, the former midfielder has returned to his native Denmark to take on a new challenge in football management, but his love for the Whites has never wavered.

“It is always nice to come home,” he said in a chat with the club during a recent visit to Macron Stadium. “That is exactly what Bolton is to my family and I - a home!”

“I spent a total of nine years living here and it is always nice to come back and see everyone. It is nice that everyone still thinks so highly of me, so I really look forward to coming back when I can and hopefully seeing the team win football matches.”

Reflecting on a number of achievements throughout his seven years with the club meanwhile, the 48-year-old has never forgotten the important role the fans played in the team’s successes.

“I have got great memories here,” he smiled. “Being able to represent this club for seven years and achieve what I did is just great. Bolton is close to my heart and they are times I will never forget.

“Every time I come back here, it still feels the same as it did when I playing here. Outside, everyone is nice, but as soon as the game starts, the fans get behind the team.

“That is really important to any team that is going to be successful and it definitely played a big part in the success when I was here. It is nice to come back though and see the same faces along with the new ones, but the club is still very much the same.”

After hanging up his boots, Frandsen’s first role in football since retirement in 2004 came in the shape of the assistant manager’s role at Danish first division’s HB Koge in 2009, before he was promoted to manager of the club in 2012.

Since then, spells at fellow Danish side’s Brondy IF Under-19s and AB Gladsaxe have followed before he landed his current role at Hvidovre IF where his side won their group league.

And reflecting on his recent experiences as a manager so far, Frandsen said, “I really enjoy it! Everyone told me it was the second best thing anyone can do when they finish playing and it is something I’m really excited to be involved in.

“It isn’t anything big at the moment, not ‘top of the pops’ stuff – it’s the Danish Second Division, but I am enjoying the challenge.”

He continued: “I never really considered it when I playing because I just wanted to focus on my football, but when I retired, I knew I had to give it ago because football was all I ever knew, so I gave it a chance and thankfully it has been going well.

“As a manager, I feel I am like most people in the way that I expect a lot from my players every time they step onto the pitch and that they give me 100%.

“I want them to play for the team and work hard, then as a manager I will set things up the way I think is best to get the result.

“I like to take things that I learned from the managers I played under like Sam Allardyce and Colin Todd from when I was here, whether that is to motivate my players or get results we need in matches, so hopefully that can help me continue to be successful.”

Finally, casting an eye over his former side of the Whites, Frandsen has every confidence that Phil Parkinson’s men can succeed during the remainder of the campaign.

“The aim for the club has to be to stay in this league, that’s the most important thing,” he explained. “It’s so tight at the bottom and such a difficult division with lots of good teams, but the manager has got them playing well and the recent results show the quality in the team.

“If they continue to perform, I believe they will be a Championship team next season, for sure.”

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