Kadeem Harris and his Sheffield Wednesday ambition – Goals, goals and the Premier League
Kadeem Harris is rapid. In a football world where out-and-out wingers are re-emerging, Sheffield Wednesday have a bundle of tricks on their left-hand side, now he just needs to show what he’s about…
Having signed for Steve Bruce’s Owls at the start of the 2019/20 season, the 26-year-old had to deal with an early change in managerial regime that saw him actually make his Wednesday debut under Lee Bullen, but – as he would have been hoping under Bruce – the speedster has managed to tie down what he’s been yearning for – regular gametime.
Harris was a Premier League player last season, going up against the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur while at Cardiff City, but with nine games to go in the current campaign, he’s just half an hour away from playing more league minutes with Wednesday than he has in his last four seasons combined. And that’s exactly what he wanted.
Speaking to the Star about his time in S6 so far, Harris said, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Wednesday, from the day that I came here. The boys have been fantastic, the coaches and the fans… I’ve played a lot of games, and it’s the first time that I’ve played so much football at once.
“It was going extremely well until New Year, and then the form dipped, but that’s part and parcel of football, and it’s not something that you shouldn’t expect at time. It’s up to me and the team to change that run of form.
“I think confidence is one of the main things. When you’re flying, you’ve got all the confidence in the world and you go into games believing that you’re going to win, but when you have a dip in form you go into them thinking ‘Let’s not lose’, and that shouldn’t be the way. Being part of it, it felt like confidence did affect the team… Hopefully the fans stick with us, because we’re going to need them.”
Having played more Championship games than all of his teammates other than Barry Bannan, Harris seems to be a big part of Garry Monk’s plans going forward, but with several key players out of contract at the end of next month, he’s unsure of who he’ll be playing alongside in 2021.
He’s got big ambitions though, and they don’t finish in the second-tier, so he’s looking to the club to be ambitious as well as changes do appear imminent at Hillsborough with the expiration of deals for the likes of Fernando Forestieri, Sam Hutchinson and several others.
Is there a bit of worry there though? Not as far as Harris is concerned.
“We’ve got a good squad,” he said. “So the players who have got remaining contracts for the season after this season, they’re very good players… So I’m not worried, it’s just going to be very interesting to see what happens now with who the club bring in.
“The fans deserve to be in the Premier League, and I think it’s important that the club show that ambition..”
“It’ll be great to see them bring in some very good players, you know? To have that ambition to get promotion, because I think the club is way too big of a club - with too much history behind it - to be in the Championship. The fans deserve to be in the Premier League, and I think it’s important that the club show that ambition.”
And speaking of ambitions, the former Barnsley and Wycombe Wanderers man – who is statistically one of the top dribblers in the division – knows that he needs to step up as well, and he wants to drastically improve on his goal return in the new season, insisting that it’s something he’ll be working exceptionally hard on.
Having scored three in his debut season, the attacker said, “For me, it’s about being clinical. I want to start converting more of my dribbles, scoring goals and creating more chances for both myself and my teammates. It’s funny, I was looking back at some of my old videos – training clips and games and stuff – and it was showing my finishing, and I was impressed!
“I just thought to myself, ‘Why haven’t I done that this season?’ I know what I’m capable of, I know I can do that, so now it’s about producing that on the pitch and showing everybody else that I can do it as well.
“Next season, or whenever we do go back, it will be perfect for me because I’ve had a lot of time to look back and basically refocus. I’ve been able to pinpoint what was wrong, now I need to fix it.
“I want to definitely hit double figures in goals. I’m going to be working very hard on my finishing and scoring goals, because I think as a winger it’s very important for me to be scoring goals for the team and not just assisting and creating chances. The best wingers in the world, that’s what they do.”
A family man at heart, the attacker has enjoyed the chance to spend time with his wife and kids during the lockdown, but tomorrow, as the work begins again and he steps away from the family and Money Heist and into training at Middlewood Road, he’s a man on a mission.
“I want to help this team get back in the Premier League, and if I can do that then that would be amazing…”