How Cameron Dawson responded to Derby County stopper Joe Wildsmith’s ‘not a Sheffield Wednesday fan’ claim

Cameron Dawson and Joe WIldsmith came through the ranks together at Sheffield Wednesday.Cameron Dawson and Joe WIldsmith came through the ranks together at Sheffield Wednesday.
Cameron Dawson and Joe WIldsmith came through the ranks together at Sheffield Wednesday.
At full-time on Sunday, there may well be a poignant moment or two shared between the goalkeepers of Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County.

For many years, Cameron Dawson and Joe Wildsmith were ubiquitous; a pair of stoppers coming through the ranks together, representing England together, making their first team debuts a year apart.

They flip-flopped alongside one another from first choice to second choice to third and back again depending on the manager of the time and the favour Keiren Westwood was held in at that moment. And then, in the summer, Wildsmith swapped from one headline-grabbing football club for another in Derby County.

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Both have enjoyed the experience of being number one at their respective clubs. Dawson out, in, out and then back in again; back to flip-flopping, this time with David Stockdale. Wildsmith’s course has been somewhat smoother; he’ll make his 54th appearance for the Rams on Sunday. He made only 89 Owls appearances across seven years.

In an interview that raised a smile with Dawson back in February, Wildsmith claimed he ‘is not a Sheffield Wednesday fan this season’. Both are of course lifelong Wednesdayites.

Speaking to The Star earlier this season, Dawson laughed when asked about his great pal: “To be fair to him, what do you want him to say? He’s playing for Derby, they’re in direct competition. Whoever has asked him that has sort of backed him into a corner, haven’t they?

“On the spot he had to say what he said, I think – so we’ll let him have that one!”

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The two keepers face the prospect of a triple-header up against one another, with the most likely outcome of the final day shake-up being that Derby finish sixth and take on the Owls in the play-off semi-final. A win would guarantee Derby play-off qualification, while a draw would leave Peterborough United needing a major goal difference swing in a win at Barnsley to leapfrog the Owls.

“Fate has sort of reared its head and it will be an interesting game,” Wildsmith told BBC Derby this week. “There is no bigger game for me that I want to win than on Sunday.

“Hopefully that takes us on to a couple more games and we will see where that takes us. On a personal note, it's a game I'm looking forward to and I feel like I will really enjoy it.

“It's typical of the recent history of the two clubs that we would meet on the last day and there would be something on it.

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“There is a lot on the game, but as players we sort of block it all out and have blinkers on as we have a job at hand. It's just great to be part of something here when Derby might not have been a football club at the start of the season.

“For it to be a season like this straight after the turmoil and negativity around the place, it's testament to the fans, the people and the club and the players really thrive off that.”