Seriously, as Sheffield Wednesday fans, how often do we care about the international break and the prospect of an England international friendly played on a Friday night?
Saturday at 3pm looks very uninviting for football fans in and around the UK. Understandably, we all wish our national team well as we hope for a convincing victory against the Spanish. However, gone are the days when we use to look out for Walker & Waddle playing for England, Nilsson for Sweden, Worthington for Northern Ireland or even Wim Jonk for the Netherlands etc.
Although many moons ago, I remember the excitement and admiration as a little nipper sat down with my dad ready to watch a World Cup/European qualifier, proudly shouting “Dad, he plays for Sheffield Wednesday.”
The most recent international fixtures I remember were last season as Stevie May made a substitute debut appearance for Scotland in a 3-1 loss against England at Celtic Park…and willing him to score!!! Keiren Westwood also featured for Republic of Ireland against England back in June resulting in a 0-0 draw, yet another clean sheet for Keiren adding to an outstanding 2014/15 defensive campaign.
The continued acquisitions to the Owls squad this season has seen talent in abundance arrive at S6 both in defence and offence. Players with huge potential, others already developed has awakened our international links and call ups at both senior and under-21 levels.
The most noticeable call-up announced on November 6 was that of Lucas Joao. The Portugal Under-21 international may feature against Russia and/or Luxembourg on November 14/17 respectively. Joao’s dazzling and energetic performances, especially in front of a global audience against Arsenal, have deservedly seen him included in the senior squad.
Unfortunately, we won’t see Joao line up with the world-renowned legend that is Cristiano Ronaldo as he has been left out of the 23-man squad due to fatigue. However, the giant Sheffield Wednesday prospect may just replace Ronaldo in the first eleven alongside well known players such as Pepe, Mountinho and Nani. What an opportunity for the Owls number 18.
Coach Carlos Carvalhal recently stated his desire to improve players throughout the squad to maintain a national interest. He also added that Sheffield Wednesday will have more national players within the squad in the near future.
Here’s a full list of current Sheffield Wednesday players with international caps:
Keiren Westwood – 18 Caps for Rep of Ireland (currently on international duty)
Lewis Price – 11 Caps for Wales
Joe Wildsmith – 1 Cap for England Under-20s (currently on international duty for the Under-21s)
Glenn Loovens – 2 Caps for Holland
Daniel Pudil – 27 Caps for Czech Republic (currently on international duty)
Darryl Lachman – 4 Caps Curacao
Ross Wallace – 1 Cap for Scotland
Barry Bannan – 20 Caps for Scotland
Modou Sougou – 12 Caps for Senegal
Lucas Joao (currently on international duty with Portugal)
95 international caps in total
Is this a glimpse of the future at Sheffield Wednesday? Finally, we have players on the books playing on the international stage, and I for one am all for it. Although the likes of Joao and Wildsmith are still on the fringes of a national career, what a great feeling to have our players once again even being considered to play in front of a global audience at the highest level.
Keiren, Joe, Daniel, and Lucas…do us proud!!!