‘It was a pleasure to be at one of the biggest clubs in the UK’ – Daniel Pudil reflects on his four years at Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday will forever hold a special place in Daniel Pudil's heart.
The defender, signed by the Owls in August 2015 on loan from Watford before completing a permanent switch the following summer, spent almost four years at Hillsborough, clocking up 113 appearances.
Pudil was a mainstay in the Wednesday team that reached back-to-back Championship play-offs under former boss Carlos Carvalhal.
But the 33-year-old is set to leave the club at the end of his present contract this summer, having struggled for game time under Jos Luhukay and Steve Bruce.
Pudil told The Star: "It was a pleasure to be here at one of the biggest clubs in the UK. Obviously I've had a great time over here. I have spent four years here and played more than 100 games for the club.
"When I came, we had a target of going to the Premier League. Twice we were very close - once in the final and then we lost in the semi-final the next year so it has been a great time to be over here and great memories from this part of my football career.
"My daughter was born here and I have met loads of great people, not just on the football pitch, but in the city as well.
"Obviously I don't know where I will be playing next year but I would still like to carry on because I know I can and hopefully I will get a club nearby Sheffield."
The Czech Republic international bid a fond farewell to the Owls faithful after Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.
On his Wednesday highlights, Pudil said: "Obviously, there was the one when I scored a goal against Preston on the day my daughter was born.
"There was the game against Arsenal (in the cup) when we beat them 3-0. There are many memories and I will never ever forget those things.
"I am really glad I have been part of this club and hopefully I might be working for the club after my career.
"I had a little chat with the chairman and obviously we know each other very well. He is a great person and he said he might see me here after my career so we will see."
Losing the 2016 play-off final at Wembley to Bruce's Hull City team was a bitter pill for Pudil to swallow.
"I think we probably deserved to go to the Premier League that season," said Pudil. "I played some of my the best football of my career and we were really great.
"Obviously, we did not perform well in that game and we could not go to that last step.
"But even those things I will always remember because it was great to play in front of the 45,000 Sheffield Wednesday fans over there even though we lost that game."
His final Owls outing came in December's 2-1 defeat to Swansea City.
Although Pudil's Wednesday career is over, he has spoken of his desire to remain in England.
He said: "I would like to stay over here. That is my priority.
"I have two kids and they are settled well over here and they are in a school so I don't want to take them anywhere else.
"The main point is to stay in Sheffield and get a club nearby.
"If I have to drop down, I would do that. I don't mind because I would like to play football but hopefully I will get some offers from Championship sides."