Danish Under-21 striker David Nielsen joined the Canaries on
loan from Wimbledon on 14th December 2001 to cover for injuries
to Iwan Roberts and Zema Abbey. He made an immediate impact scoring
Norwich's second in a 2-0 win over Coventry on 15th December.
David began his career at FC Copenhagen but came to attention
when with Grimsby in 2000/01 scoring five times in 17 league appearances.
After trials with Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford, Wimbledon
stepped in to sign him and he made 11 appearances for the Dons
in 2000/01. However he could not be guaranteed first team football
in South London and so was willing to kick-start his career in
After scoring the following week on his second Norwich appearance
against Wimbledon, a return to South London looked unlikely. 2
goals at Sheffield Wednesday (29th December) and one at home to
Walsall on New year's Day persuaded the Canaries to pursue his
signature based on the informal agreement between the two chairmen
prior to the loan. David finally agreed terms and signed for Norwich
on 4th January 2002 at a cost of £200,000. David finished
the 2001/02 season with 8 goals in 26 appearances, and continued
scoring the following season with a last-minute equaliser in the
second game of the season at Rotherham.
On March 22nd 2003, David was offered a loan spell at Sheffield
Wednesday if it would help the Owls release defender Leigh
Bromby on loan until the end of the season. This did not materialise
and David has vowed to remain at Carrow Road and score the goals
that City require.
Although included in Norwich's starting line-up for the first
two games of the 2003/04 season, David failed to score in both
matches and was guilty of missing some easy goals. However he
spared manager Nigel Worthington of the decision whether to drop
him (David hadn't scored in nine months) and whether to renew
his contract at the end of the season. On Thursday 21st August,
David dropped the bombshell that he wanted to return to his homeland
for family reasons. A job offer from Denmark to his wife Tenna,
who works in the computer industry, was too good to turn down.
They decided that the interests of the Nielsen family would be
best served if Tenna accepted her prestigious new appointment
and her husband quit Norwich and resumed his career in the Danish
First Division with Aab Aalborg.
"I've had a great time here and it was a very difficult
decision to make," said Nielsen "But I have to
look after my family and we've got a wonderful opportunity to
go back to Denmark. It's something that came up pretty quickly
and I just had to make sure everything was as promised back home
before I made the decision. It's got nothing to do with living
here. As I've said many times before we've all been really, really
happy here. It's a wonderful place, especially for a family man
like myself. I was happy here, my wife was happy here and my little
boy was happy here too.
Norwich manager Nigel Worthington and the club's board accepted
David's request and let him go on a free transfer although they
will receive 25% of any future transfer fee."I think David
would be the first to agree that if we kept him here against his
will he probably wouldn't be half the player he can be. My reaction
when we sat down and talked it through was one of shock. But I
listened to David and I could tell by his voice that he needed
to be with his wife and family. I appreciate that and understand
that completely." The savings that Norwich make on David's
wages gave them more room to manouever in bringing a new striker
to Carrow Road - whether it be in transfer fees, signing on fees
or wages. This proved vital as Peter Crouch,
Darren Huckerby, Mathias
Svensson and Leon McKenzie all
joined the Canaries during 2003/4
In May 2004, David was embroiled in a gambling scandal along
with AB's keeper Jimmy Nielson. David's
name was splashed across the front pages of Denmark's national
newspapers after his new club admitted at a press conference that
their star striker and long-serving goalkeeper had accumulated
debts of 1.6 million Danish krona (£160,000) with a local
betting shop. So big was the pair's level of credit with the Aalborg
bookies, the shop was forced to close for three weeks until the
outstanding debts were cleared.
It was claimed the two players' interest in betting on football
doubles (predicting the full-time scores of two games) were behind
the shop's closure, and the board of directors at Aalborg decided
to name and shame the pair, as well as setting up counselling
sessions on gambling problems. The club stressed that they had
not done anything illegal but that counselling sessions would
be provided to help identify any gambling addictions. At the time,
David Nielsen was Aalborg's second top scorer this season with
six goals from his 22 appearances and with the club fifth in the
table, their Director of Sport Lynge Jacobsen is more than happy
with the pair's efforts on the pitch. "Both of them have
performed well and I do not believe that their playing has been
detrimentally affected," said Jacobsen.
David was sacked by Aalborg in mid-February 2005 after assaulting
a team-mate during training. Midfielder Allan Gaarde was left
with concussion after reportedly being punched in the face by
Nielsen in an ugly bust-up on Monday 14th February. The attack
left Aalborg with little option but to effectively sack their
star striker who was their top scorer with eight goals from his
21 Aalborg outings this season. Aalborg announced Nielsen's sacking
in an official statement on their web-site with Gaarde claiming
he has no recollection of the incident at all after being knocked
out by Nielsen's flying fist. It read: "Due to the incident
in Monday's training session, the club AaB and David Nielsen have
decided that he will no longer play for Aalborg and will no longer
train with the club.At the same time, David Nielsen has been put
on the transfer list. All parties have expressed their regret
at the incident, but feel this is the best way forward for both
the football club and David Nielsen." - David was sold
to FC Midtjylland during March 2005.
On 24th May 2006 it was announced that David had signed for Norwegian
side Start, based in Kristiansand, and will be available to them
from 1st July 2006. David though missed his family and returned
to Denmark joining Odense in July 2007.
In April 2008, David signed on loan for Norwegian side Strømsgodset
In November 2008, Nielsen admitted match-fixing, throwing a game
on purpose when his side AaB played FC Copenhagen in May 2004.
Nielsen's motivation to cheat came from massive gambling debts.
In January 2009, he was transferred to Norwegian side Brann as
a part of a deal where Njougu Demba Nyren went in the opposite
After his contract with Brann expired in June 2010 Nielsen stayed
in Bergen and together with Per Ove Ludvigsen and Kjetil Knutsen
offered organized soccer practice for kids through a company called
In 2011, he became assistant manager of Lov-Ham before becoming
manager later that year of Nest-Sotra who play in the Norwegian
In November 2013, he was appointed assistant manager at Strømsgodset
IF. Seven months later, he was appointed manager when Ronny Delia
left for Celtic
He left Stromsgodset on 25th May 2015. On 17th June 2015, he
became manager of Danish 1st Division club Lyngby. He led them to promotion in 2016 and a third place finish in the Danish Superliga the following season. On 30th September 2017 he signed a three-year- contract as coach for Danish Superliga team AGF Aarhus.
He stayed with AGF until 21st May 2022, being replaced the following month by Uwe Rosler.
On 8th December 2023 he was appointed as manager of Greek Super League side Kifisia until the end of the 2023/24 season.