Get ready for the derby buzz: Return of Sheffield Wednesday v Sheffield United is '˜absolutely massive'
They've been a long time coming back around. Some will say too long, others might say not long enough , but on Wednesday the release of the EFL fixtures will, among them, once again read '˜Sheffield Wednesday v Sheffield United'.
A lot has gone on in the five years since the city hosted a proper derby game.
Wednesday went up from League One and then after a takeover and a huge injection of funds, almost went up again to the top flight.
Meanwhile, until the hugely impressive Chris Wilder last year came in and gave United the kick up the backside they needed, the Blades stumbled through a muddy puddle of mediocrity.
Now, in terms of the division they are playing in at least, Sheffield’s clubs are on a level playing field again.
And according to one man who has a fair amount of experience of the Steel City derby from a playing and managing perspective - and on both sides of the divide - it’s ‘absolutely massive for Sheffield’
Danny Wilson played for and managed Wednesday - though he was never on the touchline for the Owls in a derby game - and also led United into battle as boss.
The 57 year-old is looking forward to the fixtures coming out this week, to see when the next showdown will take place.
“For the city, it’s great to see the two teams playing in the same division again,” said Wilson, who left Chesterfield last season.
“It’s been too long since United were in the Championship and they’ve done really well to get back up again after a tough few years.
“Then the icing on the cake is the derby game as well. United fans be happy that Wednesday didn’t go up, for the derby games and Wednesday will obviously be disappointed they didn’t go up. They are close to getting there but they haven’t made it.
“Both clubs being back in the Championship, there are going to be some fantastic games, massive crowds for both teams.
“It’s just absolutely massive to have the derbies back in Sheffield again.
“The city just buzzes. It’s a fantastic football city. Lots of people said can it carry two big teams? It can carry two Premier League teams.
“There is a massive fanbase for both clubs. The more success they get, the better it will be for the city as well. It will bring a feel good factor back to the city too.”
Wilson watched from afar as Wednesday failed to jump the play-off hurdle this past season, for the second in a row, but he is in no doubt that Carlos Carvalhal’s side will be in amongst the tops teams again.
Wilson added: “They will have to start all over again next season but I’m sure with the squad they have got already, not even taking into account any additions, they will be up there challenging again.”
For almost everyone involved at Wednesday, the derby will be a new experience, and the vast majority of the squad have no local links.
But one crucial voice in the backroom staff will help to hammer home the importance of this fixture to those in the streets and in the stands.
“They will certainly know about them in the week building up to them,” said Carvalhal’s assistant, Lee Bullen.
“We will certainly make sure of that. 100 per cent.
“I suppose that’s the positive to look at after not getting over the line this year.
“The Steel City derbies are such an amazing event. I had the pleasure of playing in them. I was disappointed in one and had the elation in the other.
“It is certainly a fixture that a lot of people will look towards but it is not the only one United will look towards and it is not the only one we will look towards because some of the clubs in this league are unbelievable.
“There are a lot of derbies to be played this year but obviously the big one is going to be against Sheffield United, who had a fantastic season last year and come into the league with a lot of momentum. But I think the Championship is a whole different beast to League One.”