New boy willing to take stitches for Sheffield Wednesday as Darren Moore gets his man at the second attempt

Ben Heneghan has been a name on Darren Moore’s shopping list for some time, it seems.

Monday, 20th June 2022, 4:47 pm

The 28-year-old defender, whose free transfer signing from AFC Wimbledon was announced last week, spoke to the media for the first time as an Owls player and revealed that Moore had tried to sign him previously, while he was cast aside at Sheffield United.

Back-to-back loan stints at Blackpool fell instead, but Moore left an impression on a defender clearly excited to get going on the blue side of the city.

Speaking to The Star, Heneghan said: “He told me he could see me fitting into his plans, he spoke about my stats from last year, the most clearances and stuff and how I can help the squad in that way.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

Sheffield Wednesday defender Ben Heneghan signed from AFC Wimbledon last week.

“I’ve spoken with him previously as well, he tried to sign me before when he was at Doncaster. It was one of those that just didn’t work out.

“We’ve spoken inbetween and I spoke to a few other people about his character and it’s a case now of getting my head down and playing for Sheffield Wednesday.”

It remains to be seen how Moore chooses to set up his side, though tactical flexibility is believed to be high on his list of the manager’s priorities.

That’s something that sits comfortably with Heneghan, whose career has taken him from a Premier League academy to non-league, to Scotland and now to Hillsborough.

With that experience comes a career in different formations and styles of play. And bruises the Manchester-born defender is happy to take.

“I’m comfortable in any formation,” he said. “I’ve played in a three and I’ve played in a four. I’m easy on that front.

“We’ve not really gone through anything in too much detail yet, it’s just been run, run, run.

“But I’m one that wants to do my job which is to defend with my body on the line. And if that gets me a few stitches along the line I’ll do that, if that’s what it takes.”

And the season’s ambition? For Heneghan, it’s simple. The Owls came close to promotion last time out, losing in the play-off semi-final to Sunderland.

And while there were no concerns about their goalscoring output in the second half of the season, those play-off matches showed a soft underbelly when it came to defending that ultimately cost them a tilt at automatic promotion.

“That is the sole aim of being a footballer, you want to win things,” Heneghan said with his aim at the top spot. “Everyone in that squad wants to win things as well and do that next season.

“You cannot turn a blind eye in League One. But with the expectation of this club, I think everyone in the dressing room will believe that we can get promoted. That will be everyone's aim.

“We have got to be resilient in what we do as we conceded a few goals last year and if we put a good few more clean sheets, I'd like to be a part of that. And the quality in this dressing room itself is good enough to get out of this league.”