Sheffield United are a famous football club based in South Yorkshire with a wise coaching staff sat beside manager Paul Heckingbottom. So, who features among the coach’s backroom team at Bramall Lane?
Manager: Paul Heckingbottom
Sheffield United appointed Heckingbottom as their latest manager in November 2021 with an initial contract to June 2026. The Englishman returned to the Bramall Lane helm after the club fired Slavisa Jokanovic. He had previously acted as the Blades’ caretaker manager after Chris Wilder’s departure.
Heckingbottom failed to prevent Sheffield United from enduring relegation from the Premier League in 2020/21 after taking charge that March. But the Blades brought their former Under-21 head coach back to the club five months after his departure. He would seal their return to the top-flight in 2023.
Assistant manager: Stuart McCall
Sheffield United also brought Stuart McCall back to the club in November 2021 as Heckingbottom’s assistant manager. The Scot had acted as Neil Warnock’s number two at Bramall Lane from 2005 to 2007. He also played with the Blades as a central midfielder between 2002 and 2005 before retiring.
McCall’s coaching career would take the Sheffield United assistant back to another of his old teams, Bradford, in 2007. He was the Bantams’ manager until 2010 and returned as their head coach from 2016 to 2018 and again during 2020. While McCall also coached Motherwell and Scunthorpe United.
Goalkeeping coach: Matt Duke
Matt Duke joined Sheffield United’s coaching staff in July 2020 under Wilder and has remained with the Blades since. The former Bramall Lane shot-stopper – who played for Sheffield United from 1999 to 2000 – acts as the goalkeeping coach. He initially returned to the Blades as a U18 coach in 2017.
Sheffield United promoted Duke into their first-team coaching staff after his work as the Blades’ U18 goalkeeping coach. He had also worked for Chesterfield as a first-team goalkeeping coach from 2016.
Head of performance: Tom Little
Sheffield United added to their coaching staff in June 2022 with Tom Little appointed as their head of performance. He started as a fitness coach at Huddersfield Town in 2011, joined Birmingham City as a sports scientist in 2013 and was also Preston North End’s head of performance from 2014 to 2022.
Little now oversees a small team of fitness coaches with Heckingbottom’s backroom staff at Sheffield United. Lee McMahon has held the role of first-team sports scientist since May 2016 and first joined the Blades in July 2010. Nathan Winder also joined in June 2019 as their lead first-team S&C coach.
Head of player development: Jack Lester
Heckingbottom moved Jack Lester over from Sheffield United’s academy to the first-team coaching staff upon becoming their manager. Lester holds the role of head of player development having held the position of academy manager in the youth fold. He also played for the Blades from 2003 to 2004.
Head of medical services: Steve Humphries
Steve Humphries has been Sheffield United’s head of medical services since December 2021. He first joined the Blades as their head of first-team physiotherapy in September 2021 before changing roles. The Blades medic also oversees a staff of Ryan Flanagan, Ignatius Szuba, Chris Senior and Paul Evans.
Sheffield United hired Humphries following four years as the lead rehabilitation physiotherapist with Huddersfield Town. He was also the head of physiotherapy and rehabilitation with Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union Club in 2017. He first joined the rugby union side as their head physiotherapist in 2011.
Analysts: Hayden Whiting, Alex Delves and Alex Bailey
Hayden Whiting, Alex Delves and Alex Bailey head up the analyst department for Sheffield United’s coaching staff. They also work closely with the Blades’ recruitment team analysing potential targets.