Sheffield Wednesday: Grateful Danny aims to inspire next generation

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Life couldn’t get much better right now for Danny Cadamarteri.

Since a serious knee injury forced him to call it a day in April, the 35-year-old has focused all his energy on coaching. His hard work and dedication paid off earlier this year when, following a brief stint at Everton, Sheffield Wednesday offered him a full-time position in their academy.

Now Danny, who represented 11 clubs in his career, is overseeing the Owls’ Under-13s development.

“Coaching was never something I wanted to go into,” he told The Star. “It had never even crossed my mind.

“It was only watching my son Bailey in Huddersfield’s under eights that I thought this was something I could give a go. I had just had surgery on my knee but I was sat itching to get involved!

“I went on to do a couple of sessions with the younger ones at Huddersfield and loved it. I got a buzz off it straight away and from that point onwards I just thought this was for me.”

It was actually Danny who followed his son to Bailey to Hillsborough.

“People turnaround and say I came to Wednesday and brought my son in but it was the other way around,” said Danny. “Bailey got invited to come here and absolutely loved it.

“I saw the environment and coaches who were working at the club and thought ‘this is somewhere I would not mind working myself’. That opportunity came about and I could say my eight-year-old managed to bring me to Wednesday!”

Now aged nine, Bailey is playing for the Owls’ under-10s.

“He’s got natural abilities and is a grounded kid,” said Danny. “He is quick, strong and better at his age than I was but that’s not putting any pressure on him.

“Bailey has got a long, long way to go just to get to Under-11s football, never mind any further. They are kids and you don’t know how they are going to progress.”

Will Danny be a pushy parent?

He said: “I will probably be one of Bailey’s biggest critics in relation to trying to help him but I don’t have a lot of involvement in terms of his development here.”

Not every footballer can say they have played in the Premier League, scored in a Merseyside derby and experienced European football. But Danny was no ordinary forward.

He made 399 appearances at club level, hitting 42 goals, helping Dundee United lift the Scottish Cup before rejoining Huddersfield and playing a part in their promotion to the Championship two and a half years ago.

Does Danny miss playing the beautiful game?

He insisted: “I’m loving coaching. I had to retire with a serious knee injury in April. This job has been a welcome relief for me.

“Every now and then I get an opportunity to feed a few balls in and have that involvement with my demonstrations. That’s my little buzz there.

“I get my release from seeing players in my age group perform and trying to do the things I teach them. It’s the second best buzz after playing.”

A qualified fitness instructor, Danny is currently studying for his UEFA A Licence. He said he is enjoying passing on his knowledge to the next generation.

“I’m loving it,” said Danny, who has previously worked with the women’s team at Leeds United. “I have had the opportunity to work with all the age groups which has been fantastic for my learning curve.

“When I came in, I was working primarily with the Under-12s and was then given the chance to work with the pre-academy which was something I had done a little bit at Huddersfield to get the basics. I worked with the under sixes and eights and, this year, I have been given the Under-13s as my primary age group while I’m doing my coaching A licence.

“I had some good people around me when I played but the structure is a lot better within academies and the environment we have at Sheffield Wednesday is a great place to learn and apply your trade. I have been fortunate to be given this opportunity.”

Could management be on the cards in the future?

Danny said: “I don’t know where coaching will take me. I spoke to David Weir just before he lost his job at Sheffield United. He asked me ‘do you fancy going into management’ and I said ‘that’s not for me’. He said that you will do coaching for so long you will fancy giving it a go.

“All I know is that I’m really enjoying working with Wednesday’s younger players.”