Having finally hung up his football boots, Steven Haslam is embarking on a fresh chapter in his career.
The former Sheffield Wednesday defender has agreed to become the Championship club’s lead coach for the Professional Development Phase (Under-18) squad.
The 33-year-old, who played on a part-time basis for AFC Fylde last season, recently decided to call it a day and return to Hillsborough in a coaching capacity with the academy.
Haslam told The Star: “Coaching is something that I have had my eye on and been preparing for for quite a while.
“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.”
It was back in May 1999 Haslam made his debut for the Owls in their Premier League clash with Liverpool.
Haslam, who captained England youth sides at various age levels and played in the 1999 World Youth Championships (Under-20) in Nigeria, clocked up 171 appearances for the club he supported as a boy.
“Playing and coaching are two different things,” he conceded. “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.”
Haslam’s duties include planning, delivery and evaluation of the training/games programme for the under-18s.
“My role is all about helping players kick on, become professionals and get into the first-team environment,” he said.