PAUL Heffernan is by no means the only Wednesday player facing up to a fight for a place.
An influx of new signings this month has possible repercussions for a host of Hillsborough men.
Daniel Jones, for example, was bracing himself for increased competition for places even before the signing of Mark Reynolds.
Jones and Tommy Spurr are used to the need to keep on their toes; they have had a friendly battle going on all season.
Reynolds’ ability to play left-back casts yet another different light on the position that has gone Jones’ way again for the last two games, with Spurr on the bench.
Jones’ philosophy is: “There’s always a challenge; competition is healthy.”
If Reynolds, a left-footer, is also in contention for the left-side centre-back slot, then that pits him against fellow new boy Reda Johnson and Mark Beevers.
Johnson, having replaced Beevers, has made such an impressive start that it is hard to see him being dislodged in the near future.
He has been rugged in the air in both penalty areas and scored with a first-class header against Charlton.
Michael Morrison’s addition to the list of right-side defenders means he could challenge for the spot currently held by Darren Purse, or remain at right-back even after the return to fitness of Jon Otsemobor and Lewis Buxton.
Jones, too, has proved himself capable of playing at right-back, but Alan Irvine would prefer it to be filled by a right-footer.
Gary Madine’s arrival has given Irvine what he wanted: the number of strikers rising back to four.
But there is likely to be room in the team for only two out of Neil Mellor, Paul Heffernan, Madine and Clinton Morrison.
There are some intriguing issues facing Irvine. But he would agree that this is part of the job.
With the search for new players this month not yet over, other squad members will be waiting to see who arrives and what it could mean to them.
The Owls’ match at Southampton on Saturday, March 19, has been picked for live coverage by Sky and will kick off at 5.20pm.