I wrote an article titled Staff Room towards the end of Jos Luhukay’s time at the club, but with a change in the dugout on the horizon, I decided not to release it. With every manager comes a different staffing setup, and I’m personally pleased to see that Steve Bruce has wasted no time in getting a proper team behind him.
I sometimes think in football when it comes to a backroom team; it’s easy to have too many people, while it’s also possible to have too few. With Steve Bruce being an experienced football manager who has worked at the highest level, I feel he’s not only got the numbers right but the blend of qualities and attributes too.
Steve Agnew is Steve Bruce’s trusted right-hand man. The pair have worked together previously at both Hull City and Villa, with Agnew renowned for being a stellar coach on the training pitch. I always think it’s essential to have a manager and an assistant who know how each other work, and this is undoubtedly the case with Bruce and Agnew. It also helps that the latter, as well as Bruce, has experience at this level, and experience at getting a team out of the division too.
As I mentioned above, I feel it’s vital to have a backroom team that has the right blend of qualities and attributes, so Stephen Clemence is undoubtedly a welcome addition. Clemence played for Bruce as a player and has since worked with him at Sunderland, Hull, Villa and now with us. With so many years of working together, Bruce will have helped mould Clemence as a coach, and with him only being 41, he offers an excellent bridge between the players and management.
The final two members of what I’d class as Steve Bruce’s backroom team need no introduction. Lee Bullen and Nicky Weaver are both Wednesday through and through, having years of service between them with the club, as both players and coaches. Not to take anything away from them as coaches, I feel because they both bleed blue and white, they understand both the club and its supporters, and that understanding is vital.
Let’s not forget that both Bullen and Weaver know most of the players at Wednesday, not just those in the first team, but those coming through the ranks. Again, this is another essential quality to have within a backroom team, as they will be able to help the three Steve’s with a bit of insight, as they’ve still only been at the club for a matter of months.
Steve Bruce has a reliable team around him, in terms of who will be out on the training pitch every day with him and the people he can rely on for their opinions. Bruce also wasted no time in restructuring the recruitment department at the club too, one which was pretty much a one-person band before his arrival.
David Downes joined Wednesday from Villa as head of recruitment, while Dean Hughes is reported to be the club’s recruitment analyst. Again, Bruce has put together another strong team, this time in recruitment. If rumours of Julian Borner, Moses Odubajo and Kadeem Harris set to join Wednesday on frees, it suggests that we may have started getting recruitment right for the first time in maybe four years.
Having competent staff working under a manager at a football club should never be undervalued or have its importance underestimated. Achieving success is always a group effort in football, and everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction to make it happen. Bruce has the opportunity to begin managing the club itself, making changes where he sees fit, and long may it continue.