Mick Wadsworth aims to create a lasting “legacy” at Sheffield FC after taking charge of the historic club, writes James Shield.
And, insisting that youth development will underpin his regime, the former Carlisle, Colchester and Hartlepool manager revealed his return to non-league is motivated by a desire to “give something back” after nearly four decades at the coal face.
Wadsworth, who assisted Chris Morgan during his spell in caretaker charge of Sheffield United last season, told The Star: “This is a project that I’m genuinely excited about and am looking forward to getting my teeth into.
“Non-league is where it all started for me in terms of coaching and, sincerely, I now think it’s time to give something back. I want to create a legacy here by building and improving on what is already a terrific framework.”
Given Wadsworth’s impressive credentials - Sir Bobby Robson utilised his services with both England and Newcastle - the 63-year-old’s appointment represents a major coup for chairman Richard Tims ahead of the new Evo-Stick League First Division South campaign.
Wadsworth, who boasts international experience with St Kitts and Nevis and the Democratic Republic of Congo, has also performed a series of key roles, including technical coordinator, at the Football Association.
“Working with young players, bringing them through, is something that I’ve always been very passionate about,” Wadsworth said. “At Hartlepool we took on a lad called Jack Baldwin, who was in non-league, and earlier this year Peterborough signed him for £500,000.
“Don’t get me wrong, you need that blend of youth and experience at any level, there is always a place for older players in every team.
“But there are also a lot of players who, for one reason or another, don’t get the chance straight away at professional level. That doesn’t mean to say that they’ve not got plenty to offer or can’t go on to enjoy a really good career providing they’ve got the right attitude and are taught the right things.
“That’s why, as well as working with the players who are already here, we’ll also be looking to establish really good relationships with the professional clubs in our area.”
Wadsworth, who will work closely with Jordan Broadbent and son Max, added: “Sheffield FC, with its tradition and profile, is a fantastic club. There are people behind the scenes, such as the chairman, who work very hard to exploit that.
“It’s our job the make sure things are right out there on the pitch. We’re serious about our work and we want to bring as much success as we possibly can.
“But, what you’ve got to remember about non-league football, is that the vast majority of the people in it have also got other jobs and responsibilities. That why, even though we will be doing things properly and going about our business in the right way, it’s important to make sure that coming here to train and play is also fun.”