Leon Wobschall – Why Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley could be the new Howard Wilkinson at Sheffield Wednesday

Wanted men: Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley, left, and brother and assistant manager Nicky.
Wanted men: Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley, left, and brother and assistant manager Nicky.
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A FORMER PE teacher with a liking for front-foot aggressive football who could do little wrong in the eyes of his adoring public.

READ MORE – Owls target Cowley reveals why he snubbed Huddersfield Town

It is not a case of if the Cowley boys leave for a higher-profile gig in the Championship, but when.

Sheffield Wednesday followers will recall some heady days in the mid-Eighties under one-time Abbeydale School master Howard Wilkinson with genuine fondness to this day.

Head east to Lincoln in the present day and another ex-teacher in Danny Cowley is held in similarly high regard by Red Imps devotees and his popularity will endure long after he leaves the cathedral city.

Speculation is abound that Cowley and his assistant and younger sibling Nicky - aka the Cowley Brothers - will be the next incumbents at Hillsborough after being targeted by the Wednesday hierarchy following their rejection of the overtures of Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town after a compensation fee had been agreed with Lincoln.

Speaking about the interest from the Terriers after Lincoln’s EFL Cup defeat at Doncaster Rovers, Cowley commented: “There was communication between the clubs. I believe they met they met the compensation fee. We had the opportunity to speak to Huddersfield but decided it was not the right choice at this time.

“It was the timing and the role we are in here. It is a role we are very committed to and it is a club we are very proud to be a part of.”

Committed they may be, but timing is sometimes everything.

Most sage observers would opine that the Lincoln story - an uplifting one which has since the club rise up the football pyramid and famously become the first non-league side to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in 103 years and also win the Checkatrade Trophy - has a successful chapter or two to run.

Yet they would also concur that it is not a case of if the Cowley boys leave for a higher-profile gig in the Championship, but when.

Driven individuals ever since starting out in the ninth tier of the Essex Senior League with Concord Rangers, their stock is high.

With a football grounding in the bank at Concord and success further up the ladder at Lincoln, the next natural step for the much-vaunted pair is to test themselves in the second tier.

The call of home-town club Wednesday proved irresistible for Wilkinson in 1983, when he was at an almost identical age to what the older and more senior Cowley brother is now at 40 and possessed a similar background in the game after starting out in non-league circles at Boston United before moving onto Notts County.

Wilkinson’s first full season famously ended in promotion back to the big time for the Owls, a special time that all Wednesdayites will never forget and crave a re-run of.

An under-achieving Wednesday squad with the quality to be in the promotion mix were spectacularly reenergised under the command of Wilkinson, a young, ambitious, go-ahead and workaholic coach back in that 1983-84 campaign.

Should the Cowley’s end up at S6, it will be a fascinating watch.

Their time is coming, it is just a case of where.