Whoever replaces Glenn Loovens as Sheffield Wednesday’s club captain has some pretty big shoes to fill.
On and off the pitch, the Dutchman has been a superb servant to the Owls over the last four and a half years.
I have been fortunate enough to speak to Glenn on and off the record on countless occasions since he joined Wednesday in December 2013 and can confirm he is one of football’s good guys.
Glenn, who started his career at Dutch giants Feyenoord before spells at Cardiff City, Celtic and Real Zaragoza, is an intelligent, charming, grounded person. People in the football fraternity only have positive things to say about him.
Some players can be hampered by wearing the captain’s armband, but not Glenn. He has thrived on the pressure of leading the team.
And as skipper, he has never shirked his responsibilities. Win, lose or draw, Glenn, pictured left, has always fronted up to speak to the local media.
Behind-the-scenes, Glenn is a popular figure with his teammates. They have huge respect for him. If a player ever had a problem or the squad wanted something to be flagged up to the coaching staff, Glenn acted as the mouthpiece of the dressing room.
It should be remembered the role Glenn has played in reviving the club’s fortunes. He played a pivotal part in raising standards and formed a formidable partnership at the back with Tom Lees.
But Glenn, a consummate professional, has also set the tone off the field, keeping himself in good shape. He enjoys doing yoga after training.
When he has not helped Wednesday keep clean sheets, Glenn has been an avid supporter of the club’s work in the community. He was instrumental in organising the Owls’ ‘Give It Up’ campaign last term, when every member of the squad donated 90 minutes of their salary to raise funds for a state of the art Wednesday Bedroom at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Glenn has also visited various schools and taken part in other community events. It was just over a month ago Glenn scooped the PFA Community Player of the Year award. He has been an outstanding ambassador for the club.
Glenn will depart at the end of the season and leave a significant hole.
“My time has come to move on,” he posted on Instagram. “I enjoyed my 4,5 years stay at this great club and want to thank everyone of you that made it so special. I wish you guys all the best for the future and hope that you get what you deserve.”
Under Jos Luhukay, Glenn has been frozen out. His last Owls outing came nearly two months ago. He has not even been on the bench since Bolton Wanderers on March 10.
Luhukay doesn’t strike me as the sentimental type but I hope Glenn is involved in some capacity whether that is from the start or a cameo sub appearance. He deserves a big send-off.