SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Ex-Owl Heff adds spice to Killies friendly clash

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ONE man at least is certain to fulfil Dave Jones’s prophecy that the Owls will face a tough test in their final warm-up for the new season.

The friendly at Kilmarnock will pit them against Paul Heffernan, who will have his first opportunity to prove a point since he left Hillsborough.

His Wednesday career never really took off and he left by mutual consent when he was only one year into a two-year contract.

He more than anyone will be desperate to win the Scotland v England clash at Rugby Park on August 8.

The Irish striker can already point to 15 goals in 36 league and cup appearances for Killie since he joined them last summer.

It’s an improvement on his record with Wednesday: he made only three starts in the league for the Owls, with even the manager who signed him, Alan Irvine, giving him few opportunities.

His overall record was three goals from 23 league and cup appearances but most of those were from the bench.

Gary Megson let him go even before the then Wednesday manager had signed Chris O’Grady and Ryan Lowe.

The standard of football in Scotland is widely regarded as being lower than that south of the border.

But Heffernan, who is on a three-year-deal at Kilmarnock, said at the time of his move: “I don’t see it as a step down. It’s a new challenge, not a step back. I’m here to try to further my career by doing well.

“Hopefully the fans will see plenty of goals. As a striker you are always judged on goals so if I can get my share of goals I will be more than happy and I’m sure the fans will be as well.”

Later, he was to say: “I was looking for a fresh start. I had a year left at Sheffield Wednesday but I didn’t play enough games there so I wanted to get out and play games every week.

“I went to see the manager, Gary Megson, and he was brilliant with me. He couldn’t guarantee I was going to play every week so he let me speak to other clubs.”

Heffernan played the full game when Kilmarnock, who are managed by Kenny Shiels, beat Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final in March.

The Owls’ game against Shiels’s outfit will also be a testimonial for midfield player James Fowler.

But Dave Jones believes that the match will have a competitive edge because the Scots always want to beat the English on home turf.