Have Sheffield Wednesday already got the perfect replacement for Paul Williams?

Sheffield Wednesday are a man down in their coaching department after the surprise departure of first team coach Paul Williams this week.
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The 50-year-old, who left the club for personal reasons, was on the touchline for the Owls’ preseason run-out at Barnsley’s Oakwell training ground at the weekend but did not make the trip to West Brom on Tuesday.

It remains to be seen if Wednesday manager Darren Moore will look to bring in an immediate replacement for Williams as the club continue to navigate a busy preseason schedule.

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The news will no doubt deliver fresh speculation over whether the Owls boss will be tempted to bring his close friend and former West Brom employee Jimmy Shan to the club, though the former Solihull Moors manager joined Rochdale as assistant manager just five days ago.

Sheffield Wednesday coaching pair Neil Thompson and Lee Bullen.Sheffield Wednesday coaching pair Neil Thompson and Lee Bullen.
Sheffield Wednesday coaching pair Neil Thompson and Lee Bullen.

The terms of Shan’s contract are of course unknown and it could well be that financially-tight Wednesday would have to hand over a compensation fee in the event of any switch.

“I know Jimmy really well, I’ve worked with Jimmy previously. He’s an excellent coach, a very, very good coach,” Moore said on Shan in March.

“But at this moment in time we feel we’ve got more than enough adequate staff here to continue to work from now until the end of the season.”

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Clearly the departure of Williams changes that landscape, leaving a front line coaching staff of Moore’s right hand man Jamie Smith, newly-installed goalkeeping coach Adriano Basso and long-time Wednesday coach Neil Thompson, who so far under Moore has found his responsibilities split between first team and the club’s youth ranks.

Thompson acted as the club’s caretaker manager from December and March last year and is a popular and hugely ell respected member of staff within the club, having been there for almost 12 years since his arrival from Leeds United.

He has been present at most of the Owls’ preseason fixtures already this season.

And with so little time between now and the start of the season, it could well be that the 57-year-old former Boston United boss proves to be the obvious fit for extended and sole first team involvement should Moore choose to keep his coaching team tight.