CHRIS Evans thinks nothing of getting up at 5am at his Wolverhampton home so he can be at Middlewood to start work at 7am.
There is plenty for him to talk with Gary Megson - another early riser - and for organising to be done as the pair plan a long-term strategy for the Owls as well as looking for players and targeting short-term results.
Evans, newly appointed as assistant manager. will have a key role in the spotting and recruiting of players and assessment of other teams.
While the 48-year-old former Wolves academy director was on a year’s gardening leave from Bolton, he assessed every player in the Championship.
“I’ve kept myself busy. It was a terrific opportunity to build up knowledge of players, and the first time I’d been out of work in 31 years,” he said. “They call it gardening leave. My garden is still knee high in nettles!”
Evans’ duties this week included a scouting mission at Rochdale, tomorrow’s opponents for the Owls.
Player-spotting is only part of his job; he is also an organiser and a planner, rather than someone who coaches players on a daily basis. That task will fall to the manager and new coach Neil Thompson, who was academy manager at Leeds.
Evans and Megson met when they were on a UEFA pro licence coaching course at Warwick in 2005.
Two years later Evans accepted Megson’s invitation to become No 2 at Bolton.
“I’ve got great belief in Gary as a person and a manager, with his ability across the board, the breadth of his knowledge. He’s a intellectual and has a great track record,” says the Welshman.
“He was West Brom’s most successful post-war manager, with two promotions to the Premier League. I went to Bolton and those were the best three years of my career.
“When Gary asked me to come here, I said ‘yes’. One, the relationship we have is special; we complement each other. Two, Sheffield Wednesday have a great tradition and terrific potential.”
He accepts that results are the priority in the short term: “Gary will be very hands on with the players, which is extremely important. We also have to take a strategic view and look at the medium and long-term here.”
Evans will assist in football planning, shaping the infrastructure of the club, sports science, and on establishing the worldwide scouting network that has been talked about by Milan Mandaric.
“I’m a great believer in organising and planning,” says the new man.
Megson said: “Chris does organising and logistics and has a good eye for a player. We work well together.”
The Owls manager has confirmed that goalkeeping coach Andy Rhodes is staying.