Title-chasing Royal Antwerp boss on why he would love to manage Portsmouth in the future

Brian Priske has declared his ambition to manage in England in the future.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 8:00 am
Former Pompey player Brian Priske took FC Midtjylland into the Champions League after winning the Danish Superliga in 2019-20. Picture: HENNING BAGGER/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images.

And former club Pompey are right at the top of the Royal Antwerp boss’ wish list.

The 44-year-old is enjoying an encouraging start to life at the Belgium club after arriving from FC Midtjylland in May.

After 11 matches, Royal Antwerp are fourth in the Belgian First Division A, two points adrift of leaders Royal Union Saint-Gilloise, where Christan Burgess stars.

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Following six seasons serving various clubs as an assistant manager, the former Denmark international stepped up to become boss of Midtjylland in August 2019.

After leading them to the Danish Superliga and Champions League qualification, he sought a fresh challenge with Antwerp last summer.

And while focus remains on his present challenge, one of the stalwarts of Pompey’s Great Escape under Harry Redknapp has revealed in the future he would love a Fratton Park reunion.

Priske told The News: ‘I took the long way in, and the hard way also, but, for me, the right way to build up your experience, to build up the craftsmanship of being a coach.

Brian Priske, seen here challenging Liverpool's Mohamed Sissoko, made 33 appearances for Pompey in 2005-06. Picture: Ben Radford/Getty Images

‘I really worked hard to get to where I am today, while it also took some patience waiting for my right moment to get the opportunity to take over, which started at Midtjylland.

‘I am definitely very ambitious in my life as a person, but also as a player and as a coach.

‘If you are ambitious then you also have the drive to improve and where you want to be the best. I think that is one of my strengths.

‘I know I am not the best manager in the world, but I will do everything I can to be the best. Every day I try to improve, try to be better, and I know if I do a good job at Antwerp then maybe that’s a possibility to go to another step higher.

Brian Priske joined ambitious Royal Antwerp in the summer and they are presently fourth in the Belgian First Division A. Picture: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

‘If it’s England then it would be amazing. I really love the English and British football culture and still have a lot of friends over there.

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‘For sure it would be a dream to return to England, but right now all my focus is entirely to perform at Antwerp and do all I can there. It’s football, you never know.

‘Pompey would be even better, returning to a place that you know really well makes sometimes things a lot easier.

Brian Priske was part of Harry Redknapp's Great Escape side which won six out of nine matches to stay in the Premier League in 2005-06. Picture: Neal Simpson

‘For me, there’s no specific address where I want to go, but for sure Pompey is high on my list, no doubt about that. But that’s the future.’

It proved to be his first and only season in the English game, before sold by Harry Redknapp to Club Brugge for an undisclosed fee in July 2006.

However, the right-back holds the distinction of being part of the side which claimed six wins out of nine matches to remain in the Premier League against all the odds.

Priske added: ‘Antwerp is a very old club, but it is also a new club in a new era. They were relegated 15 years ago and really struggled getting back into the top league, but they succeeded three years ago.

‘Then a new owner came in and is trying to put in a lot of money and effort into it, rebuilding the stadium and investing a lot into players, with 17 newcomers this season.

‘The ambition is to be champions of Belgium as quickly as possible and, of course, also from my perspective.

‘At the moment we are doing decent in the sense we have been picking up a lot of points. We are moving in the right direction.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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