Popular member of Sheffield Wednesday coaching team moves on to New York role

Garry Monk has made little secret of his desire to add one or two new faces to his backroom team at Sheffield Wednesday and he will head into the resumption of training this week operating one man down on last season.

Strength and conditioning coach Luke Cooper has moved on to become head of sports science at New York City FC having left Wednesday at the end of last season.

Cooper, who worked closely with Wednesday’s head of sport science and medicine Tony Strudwick, was heavily involved in the design and implementation of their ‘mini-pre-season’ return to football after the coronavirus suspension of football.

The switch means he has joined the ‘City Football Group’, owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group that also comprises of Manchester City, Melbourne City and others.

Sheffield Wednesday's Middlewood Road training ground.

Speaking to The Star just hours after the first session back from that break, Owls defender Moses Odubajo commented on the role Cooper played in the club’s return, describing both he and Strudwick as popular members of the club’s backroom staff.

Odubajo said: “We were doing a lot of fitness stuff and Tony was driving that I think, but we were doing some stuff with Luke Cooper too and that was good, we were working in different stations.

“It’s definitely a good thing for us having such a good team like that behind us, especially in these times.”

Much has been made of the makeup of Garry Monk’s backroom team since he joined the club in September. The Owls boss has spoken of his desire to add new faces to his dugout.

His second-in-command Lee Bullen, who started last season as the club’s caretaker manager, said: “I don't think it's a major thing, he would have liked to have brought James in, he obviously brought in Ryan Needs.

“But ultimately we've had to dig in and work with what we've got. He's really enjoyed working with myself, Neil [Thompson] and Nicky [Weaver], we've built a really good relationship there. Coming in there could have been a sense of trepidation and maybe even trust issues, it was about earning Gaz's trust. He's the gaffer.”

MORE FROM OUR WEDNESDAY WRITING TEAM

Editor's message: Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues. The Star is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions for unlimited access to Sheffield news and information online. Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.