Sheffield Wednesday – My View From Afar

I sit here in Cape Town with Table Mountain staring blankly down into my office as the South African transfer window remains in full flow.

Money is being flung about left, right and centre as the big three, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns splash their cash.

However, despite it being my job to make sure I’m on top of everything that happens here, my first port of call every morning is the Wednesday section of NewsNow… Well, I wouldn’t want to miss anything would I?

Granted, I don’t get the inspired reaction from my colleagues when I tell them that The Owls have signed Anthony Gardner as I would when I told them that Delron Buckley had signed for Maritzburg United, but in my head I keep thinking that if I rabbit on about us enough, they might end up caring, just a little bit at least.

You see, it’s hard enough being a fan of a team when you’re not in the same city or country as them… when you’re in a different hemisphere it’s even more difficult.

I used to have a Wednesday season ticket, I used to travel to Hillsborough on a weekly basis, or at least drive past it when in transit to someplace else. Now all I have are pictures and memories of Wednesdayites bouncing on the Kop, because, well, they’re not f****** Blades.

However, despite my predicament I do my best. I keep myself subscribed to Wednesday World so that I can listen to the completely unbiased views of the commentary team, I follow everyone Owl related on Twitter and, as aforementioned, keep the NewsNow feed constantly on my desktop.

But is it enough?

It’s all well and good squealing like a girl as I’m sat in my shorts and Wednesday shirt listening to the game, but you’ll all know that nothing quite lives up to the feeling of ecstasy that you get when you’re actually there. When you feel the shouts of the fans and not just hear them.

I try to make myself feel at home with the football. I’ve persuaded a good bunch of people, including the girlfriend, to make the Owls their second team and, to be fair, they genuinely seem to care a tad, even if it’s just for my sake. However, it’s been around 9 months since I’ve had a face to face conversation with a proper Wednesdayite, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it a little bit. The togetherness, the laughs and, well, with Wednesday, the imminent heartbreak.

I read today that our game against Dirty Leeds has been chosen by Sky to be broadcast on TV. I’m wondering if it would be naïve and childish of me to hope that SuperSport (SA’s sports channel) will decide to show the blue and white wizards. If not, I’ll just have to look forward to Charlton in December.

Anyway, enough of the emotional stuff.

I was genuinely dead chuffed to see that Gardner had signed for us. He’s experienced, fit and, most importantly, he can still play a little bit. Stephen Bywater signing a new deal is also a bonus for our goalkeeping ranks. I also hear that Nile Ranger and Michail Antonio could well be heading back to us, once again, it’s nothing but good news for Wednesdayites at the minute… When’s something going to go tits up?