Sheffield Wednesday make surprise appointment to beef up coaching set-up

Sheffield Wednesday have filled the vacancy of first team coach left behind by Paul Williams last month with one of Darren Moore’s former teammates – though it’s not the one that was expected.

By Alex Miller
Friday, 6th August 2021, 5:10 pm

Simon Ireland, who played with Moore at Doncaster Rovers over 20 years ago, has been unveiled ahead of this weekend’s curtain-raising trip to Charlton Athletic.

Many had expected his former Bradford City teammate Wayne Jacobs, who was present at Hillsborough to watch Sunday’s EFL Cup penalty defeat to Huddersfield Town, to enter the fray.

But Ireland is the man and will join Moore, his assistant Jamie Smith, goalkeeping coach Adriano Basso and fellow coach Neil Thompson in the dugout at The Valley.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore unveils Simon Ireland as his new first team coach.

A highly respected coach, Ireland’s highest profile role to date has been as caretaker boss of Nottingham Forest in 2019.

“This is a huge football club,” Ireland told “I have walked into a place full of positivity and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“Myself and Darren played together at Doncaster in the late 1990s, he was captain of the team, he always led by example and you could see he was destined for management.

“We touched base again at Blackburn where he was first team coach and I was working at the academy. This is a great opportunity to work alongside him again and the timing is perfect on the eve of what I’m sure will be an exciting new season.”

Wednesday’s trip to The Valley sees them kick-off at 5.30pm and face off against a fellow promotion hopeful.