“My word..” Glowing praise for Sheffield Wednesday man who has had to wait in line for big chance

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When he signed back in June, you’d have got long odds on there being a five-game stretch in which a fit Will Vaulks only played 17 minutes of league football for Sheffield Wednesday.

The Wales international arrived as one of the most high-profile of Wednesday’s summer additions and – though he rejected the narrative – was seen as a natural replacement to fill the void left by Massimo Luongo in last season’s so-called ‘midfield three’ also occupied by Barry Bannan and George Byers.

But a rare injury struck in pre-season and Vaulks has been playing catch-up since, with Fisayo Dele-Bashiru having earned plaudits in midfield while Vaulks regained full fitness at Middlewood Road and in midweek cup run-outs.

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Match-winner Will Vaulks has been excellent in his last two matches with Sheffield Wednesday.Match-winner Will Vaulks has been excellent in his last two matches with Sheffield Wednesday.
Match-winner Will Vaulks has been excellent in his last two matches with Sheffield Wednesday.

Back-to-back league starts in wins over Wycombe and Port Vale have shown his best form in Wednesday colours, a stunning winner at Vale Park the highlight of two tidy performances.

A foot injury to Byers has proven the catalyst for his return to the starting line-up and it’s an opportunity he hasn’t passed up.

“It’s a great strike,” said his manager Darren Moore on his Port Vale wonderstrike. “Really, really good. He’s growing in stature, Vaulksy.

“I’m so pleased for him because he’s had to sit and wait for his chance and of course the injury to George has given him his chance but my word has he taken that opportunity.

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“He’s stepped on and his performances have been there for people to see.”

Vaulks himself admitted he had suffered a stop-start first few months at S6. In stepping into the midweek side, he has featured as captain, an honour Moore had no qualms in pushing his way given his experience.

The former Cardiff City man, who was the subject of interest from Wednesday as far back as 2019, is no stranger to long-range goals and his manager is delighted he is showing such a marked upturn in form.

Moore continued: “It doesn’t surprise me because we knew what we were getting, the quality player that he is, the experience that he has and what he can give us.

“He showed that quality and experience today to manage the game like that. He was a big cog for us today and came up with the winning goal.”