He spent less than a month working alongside the team he would later go on to manage but Michael Doyle, the Sheffield United captain, has revealed why David Weir made an indelible impression on the dressing room during his previous spell at Bramall Lane.
Nearly two seasons have passed since Weir, who took charge of the League One club last week, enjoyed a brief spell training with its first team squad after leaving Glasgow Rangers.
However Doyle, speaking ahead of next week’s reunion with the former Scotland and Everton centre-half, has never forgotten the determination and desire which prompted United to explore the possibility of offering Weir a playing contract before he was eventually lured back to Goodison Park.
“David was a pretty remarkable footballer,” Doyle told The Star. “As soon as he arrived you could tell why he’d been able to perform at the very highest level into his forties.
“David was very, very professional. Dedicated and serious about his profession. Always in the gym and making sure he stayed in shape.
“The attention to detail was there that’s for sure and we were all disappointed when he left because he’d have been a brilliant addition for us at the time.
“David won’t have changed now he’s a manager. He’ll still demand the same from himself and from those around him.
“He’s someone who leads by example.”
Weir, aged 43, seemed destined to sign for United midway through the 2011/12 season before electing to join Everton’s backroom staff instead.
Having polished his skills by coaching their reserve and academy sides, Weir elected to become a manager in his own right following discussions with mentors such as David Moyes, Walter Smith and Craig Brown.
United, who parted company with Danny Wilson en route to their defeat in last term’s play-off semi-finals, are poised to begin preparing for the new campaign next week and Doyle said: “When you hear people like that backing David to do well then you know they mean business. You really have to take that on board.
“We were all tracking what was going on with the managerial situation and the club have clearly taken their time before bringing in who they think is the right man.”
“We’re looking forward to getting back to work now. You never forget a massive disappointment like we’ve had but you do try and respond in a positive manner.
“That’s why I can’t wait to get started.”