Jack Hunt shines as Sheffield Wednesday’s new faces finish their preseason with a win
There were three Sheffield Wednesday debuts against Port Vale on Tuesday evening, although one was absolutely no stranger to the Wednesdayites watching on…
Jack Hunt wasted no time endearing himself to the Owls fanbase once again following his return in blue and white – he was outside signing autographs as he arrived at Vale Park, and was soon bombing down the right wing as Darren Moore placed him in his favoured position at right back.
But while Hunt’s face isn’t entirely new, there were also starts given to two very new signings in Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Lewis Wing, both of whom had only completed moves to Owls just a couple of hours before kick-off. They didn’t even get chance to train with their new teammates before lining up alongside them.
So add to that the fact that Dennis Adeniran, Olamide Shodipo and – to some extent – Korede Adedoyin haven’t had too much time with this group, and it’s no surprise to see that they’re not quite the free-flowing unit that Moore will be hoping to put together as the season goes on.
But if he can get them purring, there’s definitely something there.
Moore looked to go for a 4-3-3 formation as he utilised Liam Palmer on the left wing with Hunt on the right, while the midfield saw Adeniran and Massimo Luongo sat just behind the more attack-minded Wing.
Young Adedoyin led the line in the absence of Josh Windass and Callum Paterson, and he came quite close to getting his second goal of preseason with a cheeky scooped backheel effort that was saved by Lucas Covolan.
It was quite back and forth in the first 45, with both teams having chances and Peacock-Farrell being forced into a couple of saves of his own before Dominic Iorfa rose highest to nod home a dangerous corner that was whipped in from Wing.
Sadly though, the lead didn’t last long, and just over five minutes later a scramble in the Owls box led to Vale captain, Tom Conlon, rifling an effort him from close range.
At the break there were changes as Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Jaden Brown and Chey Dunkley all entered the fray – with Hunt, Wing and Sam Hutchinson all being given a breather after arguably being the Owls’ best first half performers alongside Shodipo.
As the changes began to flow, the game lost some of its intensity.
Charles Hagan made his return, Joe Wildsmith got a runout and Alex Hunt came off the bench, as did Ryan Galvin and Ciaran Brennan, while the hosts made a number of changes as well ahead of their upcoming return to competitive action.
But it was still there to be won, and Adedoyin was once again involved as he pulled off a lovely backheel assist to FDB – who took on one man before finishing with aplomb, rifling into the back of the Vale net with just a few minutes to go. 2-1.
It was by no means comfortable, but as with so many preseason games, it served its purpose... It got minutes into the legs of those that needed it, and allowed Moore a better look at who should – and maybe who shouldn’t – be in his main plans going forward. And that’s the point of all this, isn’t it?