Sheffield Wednesday: Owls old boys spark nostalgia

Stephen Bywater at the centre of dressing-room celebrations after the Wycombe game
Stephen Bywater at the centre of dressing-room celebrations after the Wycombe game
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It seems like only yesterday that I was chatting to Mark Beevers at the Owls’ Player of the Year presentation and celebration at Hillsborough shortly after they had won promotion, writes Paul Thompson.

He talked about his hope of signing a new contract and staying with the club.

Three days after that, a similarly cheerful Stephen Bywater reflected on the post-promotion euphoria at the club and among fans, when he was interviwed at the civic reception at the Town Hall.

He too went on to sign a new deal and hoped to stay with a club that, in his view, was going places

Both were in the team that ended that season with a flourish and they will surely receive the reception they deserve from Wednesday fans when they turn out for Millwall tomorrow at Hillsborough.

It is often said that football is an unsentimental business but I always think there is a place for nostalgia in any walk of life.

Those two players who left because they were not going to get first-team football with Wednesday also illustrate the changing face of the club, less than 16 months after promotion was won.

Out of the 11 who started the decisive 2-0 win against Wycombe, only two are in the current side: Michail Antonio and Lewis Buxton. Reda Johnson would be in both teams had he been fit

Is the present side stronger than the one that came up? I think it is, substantially. Wednesday might not have pulled up any trees in the Championship yet but the standard in this division is far higher than in League One.

Dave Jones has indicated - and did so again after the Leeds game - that he cannot improve the squad any further until space is made by players being hired by other clubs.

If it is any consolation to fans who may be growing a bit impatient with the shortage of fresh activity, well it seems to be much the same position at many other clubs - I have heard of the same vibes coming out of Leeds and Millwall, for example.

The Leeds game provided further support for Jones’ view that Wednesday are not far away from having a team that can be a real force in the division.

Finally, a grovelling apology for somehow mentioning yesterday that Atdhe Nuhiu has not scored for the club. He has, of course: I saw him score a cracker, on his debut at QPR.