Dominic Iorfa is dreaming big, and he wants to reach a new level at Sheffield Wednesday

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In today’s market, £200,000 for an intelligent, athletic, England international seems a bargain, and Dominic Iorfa’s rise from promising young signing to Player of the Season is a positive sign of the way things are going at Sheffield Wednesday.

Football is in the blood for Iorfa. His father, Dominic Snr, spent time in England, Scotland, Turkey, Ireland and Belgium after making the move from his native Nigeria, and represented his nation at the 1988 Olympic Games in South Korea.

Having recently turned 25, the Owls’ have a player on their hands who still has his best years ahead of him, and after he was identified as an international prospect for England’s U18s, U20s and U21s, you can’t help but feel there’s a lot more to come from a player who seems to have come into his own since shifting from right back to the centre of defence.

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So how does he take that next step in his game?

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“For me it’s about being consistent,” he explained to The Star. “That’s how I take my game to the next level. There were games last season where I thought I played really well, but then there were games when I know I was just ok.

“For me to get to where I want to be, I need to be consistent. I’ve had runs where I feel like I’ve performed really well, but I need to keep up that consistency over the long period of the season. That’s the next step for me.

“There are silly mistakes that I need to cut out of my game… Everyone has a bad game every now and again, but I need to limit them, because if I’m playing well then I can push the team forward.”

Dominic Iorfa was a standout performer for Sheffield Wednesday in 2019/200. (Pic Steve Ellis)Dominic Iorfa was a standout performer for Sheffield Wednesday in 2019/200. (Pic Steve Ellis)
Dominic Iorfa was a standout performer for Sheffield Wednesday in 2019/200. (Pic Steve Ellis)

In many ways he’s still learning the trade in the centre of defence having spent the bulk of his career as a fullback, but in Garry Monk he has a manager who knows what it takes to play at a top level at the heart of a defence, and Iorfa says he expects to learn even more from him in the weeks and months ahead.

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He was full of praise for the Owls boss, saying, “He’s always giving me tips and stuff. He was a different style of centre back to me - he had tricks that worked for him and I have stuff that works for me - but he’s not really trying to change my play too much, but he’s always looking to give advice. He’ll pull he and say, ‘This is what I’d have done if I was defending this certain type of striker’.

“He’s helped me massively. He came in during the season, so it was a bit different because he was by himself and had a whole team to work on, whereas now he’s got a full preseason and his staff as well. That allows him to be a bit more focused with the defenders for instance, as we try to cut out the errors.

“He’s helped me already so far, and he’s said to me in preseason that as things go on he’s looking to do more work with me and the other defenders so I feel like him having the career he had can help me massively.”

It took Iorfa until he was 22-years-old to score his first goal at senior level, but since making the move to Hillsborough, the defender has got five in under 60 games, also contributing as many assists (3) as he did in his spells at Ipswich Town and Shrewsbury Town combined.

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He’ll be looking to get a few more of those in the 2020/21 season, and the club are going to need everybody – including his new defensive teammate, Chey Dunkley – to chip in as they prepare for a campaign that will see them start the Championship on -12 points following a drawn-out case with the English Football League.

The points deduction is no reason to lower ambitions though, according to Iorfa, who looks around the setup at Middlewood Road and sees a team capable of silencing some critics in the months ahead.

A defiant Iorfa said, “What’s happened has happened, and for us it doesn’t change our focus going into the season. We know what we have to do, we have goals for where we want to be…

“Ultimately, we know we’ve got a good side, and if we can replicate what we did in the first half of last season - which we’re capable of doing - then it’s about finding some consistency.

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“There’s a real feel-good factor around the place, everyone’s confident and looking forward to the new season.

“It feels like the club is going in the right direction, with the manager and his new staff, there’s a lot of optimism.

“We know we’re starting in a difficult position, and people can look at us like underdogs in a way, but we know we’re more than that. It’s about showing everyone what we’re capable of doing.”

After some costly transfer mistakes in recent years, Iorfa was the first of a new profile of player to move to Hillsborough with the potential to improve, increase in value and make a name for himself in South Yorkshire.

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After just 18 months, it’s safe to say that he’s done all three, and as one of the first names on Monk’s teamsheet, Wednesdayites will be keen to see Iorfa reach that next level of class that he’s certainly got in his locker.

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