Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Steven Haslam has agreed to rejoin the Championship club almost a decade after leaving Hillsborough.
However, the former England youth defender who made 170 appearances for the Owls in his first stint at the club won’t be kicking a ball in anger this time around, instead he’ll be nurturing the club’s Academy players after being named as the new Under 18s coach.
Haslam, who played on a part-time basis for AFC Fylde last season, recently decided to hang-up his boots and is keen to embark on a new chapter in his career.
“Coaching is something that I have had my eye on and been preparing for for quite a while,” Haslam told The Sheffield Star.
“Towards the end of last season, Dean Ramsdale [Wednesday’s Academy Manager] made me the offer of being a coach and I jumped at it. I worked a little bit for the academy last year but I was always hoping to move into a full-time position.”
“I love the game and coaching is one way of staying in it. The more I have been involved in it, the more experience I have gained.”
Haslam, a boyhood Wednesday fan who attended the now defunct FA National School at Lilleshall, captained England at various youth levels and represented his country in the 1999 (Under 20s) World Youth Championships.
It was also during that year, that the central defender whose versatility saw him play in several positions during his career, made his Wednesday debut in a 1-0 win over Liverpool at Hillsborough.
However, after moving on to the likes of Halifax, Northampton, Bury and Hartlepool to see out his playing days, he is well aware that his new job will present new challenges.
“Playing and coaching are two different things,” he continued. “Communication with players is crucial. We have got a close knit group of staff here. We share ideas and give feedback on different things. It is a team effort to try and get players through into the senior set-up.”
“My role is all about helping players kick on, become professionals and get into the first-team environment,” he added.