Owls happy ending

Flashback: Exeter City's Liam Sercombe fires in his wonder goal as Wednesday crash to a heavy defeat at St James' Park in December
Flashback: Exeter City's Liam Sercombe fires in his wonder goal as Wednesday crash to a heavy defeat at St James' Park in December

Signing off the season with a flourish is the aim for Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday when their League One campaign comes to a close against Exeter City at Hillsborough.

It is fitting the Grecians will be the last match on the Owls fixture list in what has been a memorable season in the history of the club for many reasons.

Contender: Nicky Weaver

Contender: Nicky Weaver

When Alan Irvine took his team to St James’ Park on December 18 the club was flying high. Second place in the league, after a 6-2 drubbing of Bristol Rovers the weekend before, and new owner Milan Mandaric ending years of debt by plucking the club from the brink of extinction gave Owls fans a new sense of optimism.

However, after 90 minutes of torment in Devon the wheels began to fall off, yet again. The 5-1 defeat was the last action of 2010 as winter snow and freezing cold weather meant no matches were played until a 1-0 loss at Huddersfield Town on January 3.

Only two FA Cup wins kept Owls fans warm as Irvine was replaced by Gary Megson in early February. And it took until April 2 for the owner and new manager to celebrate a victory in Sheffield 6.

The outlook is looking a lot brighter at Hillsborough now. Four home wins in a row has moved the club to the brink of a top half finish.

A club spokesman said a crowd of 20,000 plus could be achievable if the sun continues to shine. It would be the fourth time that mark has been broken this season - the first since November 2 against Huddersfield.

While it has been a tough year on and off the pitch for Wednesday the two players who have performed most admirably will fight it out for the club’s Player of the Season award, announced later today.

A vote on the Owls’ official website will probably see 20-goal striker Neil Mellor go head to head with goalkeeper Nicky Weaver.

No loan player has ever won the club’s most prestigious award before and it would be a reflection on the changing times of football if Preston- North-End-contracted Mellor was to pick up the Wednesday prize.

Meanwhile, the club have confirmed a July training camp Austria. Full details of pre-season are expected to be released next week as fixtures, dates and kick-off times are finalised.