And as Jordan Rhodes, or to give him his full title ‘Sheffield Wednesday record signing Jordan Rhodes’ slid in at the back post to score a ‘classic Rhodes finish’ and secure Huddersfield Town’s place in the Championship play-off final, it took many Owls fans back to where he and their club were a year ago.
The striker was coming to the end of a contract he was always going to walk away from and rumours were rife as to his return to the club where he made his name. That was a deal announced on May 21 last year, a day after Wednesday’s retained list scythed its way through a squad relegated to the third tier without much of a whimper.
This time last year Rhodes was red-faced and out of confidence, the poster boy for Wednesday’s boom-and-bust decline.
Wednesday, too, were a mess; that retained list released before the lifting of a transfer embargo that saw them head for a July pre-season trip to Wales with only a handful of senior players. There were teenage trialists along for the ride in no small part to fulfil the numbers.
A year on the Owls remain a League One club of course after play-off heartache inflicted by Sunderland, but they seem in a better place on and off the field. Things can indeed change quickly in a year.
For Rhodes, who battled a long injury lay-off at the start of the season, and indeed former Owls captain Tom Lees, 90 minutes is all that stands between them and the Premier League.
While Rhodes has been far from prolific and used mainly as an impact sub capable of vital goals, Lees has earned plaudits in a regular spot in the Huddersfield side no Wednesday fan would decry him.
When his name was included on the Owls’ 2021 retained list he had suffered a nasty ankle injury and will no doubt have looked more than a little nervously ahead at what may have lay ahead.
A huge amount can change in a year in football. Wednesday will hope their fettle improves further still and that next season’s retained list is being released as part of preparations for a Championship return.