Sheffield Wednesday: ‘Respected’ Loovens tipped to be captain fantastic

New club captain Glenn Loovens was greeted by supporters at the Owls in the Park event on Sunday.
New club captain Glenn Loovens was greeted by supporters at the Owls in the Park event on Sunday.
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Owls boss Stuart Gray is convinced Glenn Loovens possesses the skills to succeed as Sheffield Wednesday captain.

Centre-half Loovens rejoined the Championship club on Sunday, penning a new one-year contract. The 30-year-old played 26 times for the Owls last term after leaving Spanish side Real Zaragoza.

After the deal was announced at Owls in the Park, the club’s community fun day, Gray confirmed Loovens will skipper the team next season. The Dutch player is no stranger to the job. When fully fit and available for selection, Loovens regularly wore the captain’s armband last season.

Gray said the former Celtic and Cardiff City defender was the stand out candidate for the role because of his knowledge and experience.

“When Glenn speaks in the dressing room, the players listen,” Gray told The Star. “The players respect Glenn and that’s what you want in a captain.

“Glenn showed his qualities on the pitch last season. He did a great job for us. The problem we had with Glenn when Dave Jones brought him in was we had to get him match fit by playing games.

“But we saw his qualities. He is a talker, leads by example and is 100 per cent committed. He’s comfortable in possession, he can play out from the back and his reading of the game is excellent.

“We probably had too many captains last year so hopefully we can just have one who is there every week.”

Loovens turned down interest from several clubs in England and abroad to prolong his stay with Wednesday.

Owls star Liam Palmer said: “Glenn is a massive player for us. He’s got loads of experience.

“He helped me a lot when I played in the right-back spot. He tells you where to go and what he wants you to do.

“Glenn has played at the highest level. He’s even played in the Champions League for Celtic.

“It is great playing alongside him and Kirky [Chris Kirkland]. It is great for me to learn off those senior players.

“They might might not realise it but I am picking little bits up from them all the time.”

Gray has expressed his relief at tying down Loovens, goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and midfielder Jose Semedo to new deals.

“It was getting frustrating,” he admitted.

“It’s taken a while to get the deals over the lines.

“We faced competition to get those lads in but they have shown their loyalty to Wednesday. It’s fantastic news.”