Dutch defender Glenn Loovens is relishing the prospect of skippering the Owls next season after penning a new one-year contract with Sheffield Wednesday.
Loovens joined goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and midfielder Jose Semedo in committing his future to the Championship club yesterday.
After moving to Hillsborough last December following a spell with Real Zaragoza, the 30-year-old featured 26 times for the Owls, playing an influential role in their revival in the second half of the campaign. His deal expired in the summer.
Owls boss Stuart Gray told The Star that Loovens turned down interest from several clubs in England and abroad to remain at Hillsborough. Loovens said it was always his intention to sign a new contract.
“It took a little longer than I expected but I’m happy to have finally put pen to paper and comeback here,” said Loovens, who has previously represented Cardiff City and Celtic.,
“It is always an honour to be captain wherever you are. I will lead the guys out and give everything for the fans. I’m proud that he [Stuart Gray] has given me the opportunity.
“As one of the older players in the team, it’s my job to help the younger players coming through.”
Gray fielded Sam Hutchinson, Joe Mattock and Jose Semedo at centre-half in their 2-0 pre-season friendly victory at York City on Saturday.
“It is fantastic news for us that Glenn has re-signed because he is a top player,” said Gray. “He’s a fantastic professional.
“He will be my captain and be an extension of my arm in the dressing room. He’s a good organiser. He will soon catch up in pre-season. He’s comeback, looks lean and very, very fit. I want Glenn out there every week because of the qualities he can bring on the football pitch.”
Loovens said Gray was one of the main reasons he decided to return to Wednesday.
He added: “My main aim is to improve every day. I feel strong. I had a good summer of training. I’m ready to go.”
When asked about the length of his contract, Loovens said: “It’s best for both parties to see what’s going to happen this year. If we are happy with it, we can always renew the deal.”