Sheffield Wednesday: What then Sheffield United, AFC Wimbledon and Motherwell bosses said about new Owls signing

Some Sheffield Wednesday supporters may well admit they don’t know an awful lot about their first new signing of the summer Ben Heneghan.

Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 5:53 pm

The 28-year-old defender was a near ever-present for AFC Wimbledon last time out and offers attributes many might say the Owls are in need of at the back.

But what of the opinions of those who know him best; his former managers? Let’s take a look at what they’ve had to say in days gone by.

Mark McGhee

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

Sheffield Wednesday new boy Ben Heneghan has been managed by former Blades boss Chris Wilder.

A former EFL boss with the likes of Leicester City, Wolves, Millwall and Brighton, McGhee has also acted as Scotland assistant and managed Heneghan at SPL Motherwell having picked him out of non-league at Chester.

“Ben trains full-on every day,” McGhee said. “The other day he kicked someone. They said ‘Come on, it’s only training’ but he just shrugged his shoulders.

“On Monday we wanted to give the guys who didn’t play some extra running and he put his hand up to do it as well.

“He was then at the front of the running. That’s his attitude.

“When you’ve got that attitude you give yourself a chance and he’s a good player as well.”

Chris Wilder

Next up for Heneghan from Motherwell was a 2017 move south to Sheffield United, then managed by Chris Wilder and newly promoted to the Championship.

Ultimately it didn’t quite work out for him at Bramall Lane and the defender was loaned out to Blackpool.

“He's highly rated,” Wilder said on his arrival. “A lot of clubs say this, that they beat off competition for players, but there was genuine competition for Ben. He's a young player with a fantastic work ethic and attitude to learn. He's not the finished article but he's got the tools.

“He's mobile, he's a good size and he's coming off a fantastic couple of seasons in Scotland. He's been on our list but one possibly a bit further down. That's not being disrespectful to him, but as we went through and found what we could get, those targets changed and we thought we'd have a punt on Ben.”

Glyn Hodges

Another former Blade revered on the other side of the city, it was Hodges who reunited himself with Heneghan when he took him to AFC Wimbledon in 2020.

Hodges knows the 28-year-old better than most having coached him in the youth ranks at Stoke City. Taking him on a free transfer in the November, Hodges said:

“He’s no-nonsense, a good size, and he’s a good professional, so he ticks a lot of boxes, and we are delighted that he has signed.

“It’s unusual to sign a player of Ben’s calibre outside the window, so we jumped at the opportunity.

“The only problem is that he’s not quite at the level of fitness of the other lads, but that’s fine because he’s a naturally fit boy anyway, so it won’t be long before he gets up to speed. He will be straight into the squad and with games coming up we are going to need a lot of bodies.”