Sheffield Wednesday: Buxton verdict boosts Owls

Kieran Lee, seen here in action against Ipswich, faces a tough fight to earn the right-back spot
Kieran Lee, seen here in action against Ipswich, faces a tough fight to earn the right-back spot

Lewis Buxton’s decision to sign a new contract is perhaps the best news that the Owls have received so far this summer.

Out of the half dozen players whose deals end this month he is arguably the most important.

He played in most of the games last season and is indisputably the club’s first-choice right back.

Moreover, his form in 2012-13 confirmed him as a seasoned Championship player who has made consistency his hallmark.

That is why he won the club’s Player of the Year award for the first time, and at 29 he is at the top of his game - not that he would ever be satisfied with what he has achieved so far.

The likeable character from the Isle of Wight has made it his business to try to constantly improve his play.

For example after a group training session had finished he could be seen doing some individual work on utilising his left foot.

A year ago when the Owls signed Kieran Lee some people have thought that Lee was being brought in because Dave Jones was dissatisfied with Buxton: not so, the intention was to create more competition. Buxton was the man in possession and it was no surprise when he kept his place.

He is already one of Hillsborough’s longest-serving players and looks destined for a long time yet in the first team, barring injury or a major breakthrough for someone else.

Buxton’s new deal suggests that Lee will continue to find it hard to gain a place in the position for which he was recognised at the time he was signed and in which he made his name as Oldham’s Player of the Year for two successive seasons.

Lee had to wait for a Hillsborough chance last season, and when finally he was given a run in the side it was on the right side of midfield, where he did well enough to suggest that he will be a contender for this role next season.

In pocketing the new deal, Buxton has been granted his wish: in January he said: “I would like to stay, definitely. I enjoying living here and playing here. It’s an honour to play at Hillsborough.”

Now he says: “I’m delighted to sign here, I’ve enjoyed my time at the club and I’m pleased it’s all been sorted early so I can look forward to my future here and the new season.

“The supporters here are top class and I would like to thank them for all the support they have shown to me.”

Former Wednesday players Matt Hamshaw and Adam Proudlock have been added to the list of participants for Rodger Wylde’s testimonial match.

Both also played for Stockport, like Wylde, whose match is billed as a festival of football involving Wednesday and County, at Edgeley Park on July 9.

Hamshaw joined Stockport after leaving Hillsborough in 2005; Proudlock was at Ipswich in 2006, in between spells with Wednesday and County.

Wylde, Stockport’s physio for the last 25 years, has Reading’s former Rotherham striker and ex-Owls target Adam Le Fondre on a list of former Stockport players due to appear.

Meanwhile, Wednesday are reminding season-ticket holders that they will lose their seats if they do not renew their places by 5pm on Saturday.

That is also the deadline for discount prices. The prices will go up after Saturday, and any tickets left unsold will go on general sale on Monday.