It is hard not to warm to Joey Pelupessy.
Not only is the 24-year-old polite, personable and good company, he is also growing in confidence and stature on the pitch.
His performances in the midfield engine room have improved of late and so have the team’s results.
“I feel more comfortable now,” Pelupessy, drafted in from Dutch Eredivisie side Heracles Almelo three months ago, told The Star.
“It is not that I didn’t feel comfortable at the beginning but if you are new then you are always more quiet and easy.
“Now I think I’m accepted with the guys and I feel very well and I’m very happy when we score a goal.
“Sometimes when I celebrate a goal I see the highlights after the game and I’m thinking ‘I was so crazy’ in my head! But it’s not a bad thing.”
After an acclimation period, Pelupessy now feels settled in Sheffield.
He appears to be enjoying himself and has forged a strong bond with teammates Lucas Joao, pictured below, and Atdhe Nuhiu. Rarely does a day go by when the trio are not pictured together or on a video on social networking site Instagram.
“I’ve become good friends with them,” said Pelupessy. “We are always laughing and joking around.
“But if we are on the pitch then it is very serious and I think that’s a good combination.
“Lucas and Atdhe are good friends of mine and they have helped me a lot settle in. The Dutch guys Glenn [Loovens] and Joost [van Aken] have also made me feel more comfortable and that has made me happy.”
Joao and Nuhiu missed the trip to Hull City due to injury but the forwards are expected to feature against Reading today. In recent months, Joao and Nuhiu have worked well in tandem, playing key roles in helping the Owls secure their Championship status.
Pelupessy said: “They have been very important for us and scored a lot of goals. They are used to playing with each other and have have scored some beautiful, important goals. They are doing well.”
He hopes 11-goal striker Nuhiu will prolong his Wednesday stay. Nuhiu’s present deal runs out this summer.
“I really would like him to stay,” he said. “I think it’s good for us to play with a big striker.
“Sometimes, if you are in trouble you can play a long ball and he can hold the ball up. It’s an important thing and I think it’s very important for the club that he stays so hopefully he’s getting a new contract.”
Pelupessy and Joao have tried to convince Nuhiu to remain at Hillsborough.
Pelupessy joked: “The atmosphere with us is very good; that’s why Lucas and me said to Atdhe ‘you have to stay because it’s important for the club and also our friendship!’”
The former FC Twente player made his Owls debut in their 3-1 FA Cup success over Reading last January. The Royals remain deep in trouble at the wrong end of the table and Pelupessy expects Paul Clement’s team to provide a stern test in the Owls’ penultimate home match of a season to forget.
“Reading keep the ball well so it will be an interesting game,” said Pelupessy, who has clocked up 16 appearances in Owls colours.
“They are a team who also want to play football but it is not always easy because if you are a little bit down in the table then it is a more difficult to play football than if you have a lot of points.”