Job worry for ex-Owls skipper

Happy days: Lee Bullen captained the Owls to promotion
Happy days: Lee Bullen captained the Owls to promotion
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FORMER Wednesday captain Lee Bullen faces an uncertain future as his contract as assistant manager at Falkirk gets set to end on Tuesday.

He is hoping to keep his job with the Scottish First Division promotion hopefuls, he told The Star in a visit to Sheffield. But he admitted: “Financially, times are tough in Scotland.

“I’m just fighting my corner and trying to keep my job. Financially, it’s difficult for the club to offer anything.”

Manager Steven Pressley has signed a new one-year deal but could be asked to operate without an assistant.

Bulle added: “I’m still hopeful that things can be manoeuvred enough to produce a job and that I’ll still be there. But you never know.”

Falkirk finished third this season and will hope to step up their challenge in 2011-12.

Bullen, who has just turned 40, was appointed assistant manager for 2010-11 after being youth coach and reserve coach and hanging up his boots, following the club’s relegation from the Premier League.

That kind of progression through the jobs is advocated

by Gareth Southgate, the ex- Owls star discovered recently when he attended an event at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland as part of his progress towards the UEFA Pro coaching licence.

Howard Wilkinson was the course director.

“Gareth Southgate talked about things he might have done differently: he’d have gone youth coach, reserves coach, assistant manager, manager,” said Bullen.

But the former England defender went straight into the Middlesbrough hot-seat and had to learn very quickly.

Bullen, who skippered Wednesday to promotion in 2005, has been back in Sheffield on business - he has a property in the area - and has friends in the city and popped into Hillsborough.

He admits that he and other Scottish coaches would find jobs in England appealing but he will be disappointed if he cannot stay at Falkirk: “It’s been a great learning curve and I’ve had a good rapport with the players.

“After getting the assistant manager’s job, I decided that I had to give it 100 per cent, not 50 per cent to that and 50 per cent to playing.

“I still love to win the five-a-sides though!”