Recalling when Owls’ boss Jos Luhukay cancelled a friendly - and risked the wrath of fans

Jos Luhukay.
Jos Luhukay.
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Groundstaff preparing to host Sheffield Wednesday this summer better be on their guard.

When Jos Luhukay embarks on his first pre-season, Owls fans can expect there to be no stone left unturned.

Last season's pre-season friendly  between the Owls and Rangers was played on a beautiful playing surface at Hillsborough - a far cry from some of the pitches Jos Luhukay experienced in Germany.

Last season's pre-season friendly between the Owls and Rangers was played on a beautiful playing surface at Hillsborough - a far cry from some of the pitches Jos Luhukay experienced in Germany.

A glimpse into his past reveals that Luhukay is a man who is not afraid to make controversial decisions when it comes to ensuring his team are as best prepared as they can possibly be.

Luhukay, who before heading to S6 spent his entire coaching career in Germany, is said to favour double daily sessions during pre-season with running in the morning and ball work in the afternoon.

Günter Klein, chief sports reporter for German daily newspaper Münchner Merkur, tells one particular story of when Luhukay was in charge of Augsburg, then in the second division, in the summer of 2009.

Despite supporters of both teams having assembled in preparation for a pre-season clash, Luhukay was much more concerned with the safety of his players and had clear concerns over the state of the hosts pitch.

Klein said: “ Augsburg had scheduled a friendly against FC Heidenheim who were then a Third Division side in Dillingen, a small town about 40km from Augsburg.

“About a thousand or so spectators were already inside the stadium when Luhukay suddenly decided to cancel the match.

“He did not like the quality of the pitch so, the teams and the fans had to go home.

“Augsburg supporters were so angry that they wanted to stop the bus from leaving.

“Thankfully, there was no violence, just discussions. But Jos did not change his attitude: that it was too dangerous to play.”

In his short time at Hillsborough, Luhukay has already shown himself to be an authoritative and organised individual.

He quickly set about repairing Wednesday’s defence after his January arrival and the switch to a 3-5-2 formation has tightened up the backline considerably.

Luhukay has now decided that for his maiden pre-season with the Owls, the group will be staying in the UK.

The decision to opt out of travelling abroad is seen by the Dutchman as being beneficial in terms of saving energy.

Luhukay said: “When you go (abroad) and come back, you lose at least one and often two training days so we have decided we will stay in England.”

Wednesday have already lined up two friendlies away to Lincoln and Mansfield with more to follow.

The opening round of Championship fixtures take place on Saturday, August 4 and Wednesday traditionally host at least one home game before then.