Chey Dunkley: Hard-earned Sheffield Wednesday award proves patience is a virtue

There’s not a great deal of patience knocking about in football these days.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 10:34 am

And in fairness, when it came to Chey Dunkley, Sheffield Wednesday fans had to wait a little.

The full-throttle centre-half signed from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2019 as Garry Monk sought to turn the wheel of transition at S6. The attitude was not right within the changing room, he had admitted, and whole-hearted characters such as Dunkley would surely improve that.

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His was a free transfer from cash-strapped Wigan Athletic. A return from a horrific leg break suffered the previous February was a matter of weeks away, they said.

But painful setbacks were had, weeks turned into months and it was only when Tony Pulis pulled him back into action early this time last year that he was seen in Wednesday colours.

Dunkley is a keen user of social media and seems to deal with criticism as he does an errant cross; head-on and with gusto.

Sheffield Wednesday defender Chey Dunkley has been awarded the club's player of the month award for November.

But there have been times he would have been wise to stay away from the platforms and message boards as supporter frustration grew first over his stunted recovery and then over less-than-perfect performances. That he was the man to get himself in a tangle for ‘that’ Derby County penalty on the last day of the season didn’t help.

Turning into this season, Dunkley found himself out of the team and played only a match-and-a-half of their first seven outings. In some quarters, he was again the subject of criticism after one or two shaky performances playing out from the back that seem a lifetime ago just weeks later.

He’d later admit his frustration but outlined his determination to get things right once given a prolonged chance in the team and how he’s done that.

With all around him dropping like flies, it is Dunkley that has taken that opportunity and has stood up as a deserved landslide winner of the club’s player of the month award for November.

There were times that some supporters would never have banked on this outcome as patience with Dunkley wore thin.

It’s testament to the burly defender that those frustrations were allayed some weeks ago. When his club have needed him most, he’s stood up. He’s been a class apart.