Barry Bannan’s Sheffield Wednesday story doesn’t have to end on the field – whenever the time comes

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Barry Bannan has no intentions of retiring anytime soon, but could the Sheffield Wednesday captain stick around whenever he does decide to call it a day?

Bannan has spoken a lot of his desire to remain at Hillsborough, telling the media in an interview following their defeat in the playoffs to Sunderland, “I have unfinished business here and I want to get Wednesday back to where they belong.”

But for how long will his ‘unfinished business’ at Wednesday continue?

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Bannan, who still has a few good years left on his playing career, has shown nothing but love and commitment to the club and has shared the good times as well as the bad with the Owls - becoming a favourite amongst the fans – but does it have to end when he stops playing?

It is not uncommon for ex-Sheffield Wednesday players to return as managers or as part of the coaching staff… Just in the last decade alone Wednesday have had three ex-players that went on to become managers. Gary Megson took charge at Hillsborough between 2011 and 2012, taking the Owls within three points of the automatic places in the third tier, before being replaced by David Jones in the new year.

In 2019 ex-loanee, Garry Monk, had a stint with the Owls during what was a turbulent time for the club – having just being deducted six points for breaking financial fair play rules, Monk lasted until December 2020.

Lee Bullen, who returned to Hillsborough after his retirement, had spells in charge of the first team on numerous occasions and was in charge of the U23s before his recent departure. He now manages Ayr United in the Scottish Championship after ending his long affiliation at S6.

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Barry Bannan has been a long-serving star for Sheffield Wednesday.Barry Bannan has been a long-serving star for Sheffield Wednesday.
Barry Bannan has been a long-serving star for Sheffield Wednesday.

So there’s precedent there - as a club Wednesday have always been open in appointing club heroes into their ranks. Somebody who knows the culture, what is expected of them and what it means to be an Owl.

With Bannan choosing to remain in Sheffield it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think he couldn’t be a potential candidate for a coaching role in the future should he choose to stay on at the club after retirement – but there’s a while before that decision has to be made.