Promotion this season top of the agenda for both newcomers
LATEST evidence that the wind of change has certainly started to blow through Sheffield Wednesday has come with Mark Reynolds and Gary Madine adding themselves to the cast of new faces at Hillsborough - with more to follow.
Fortunately, Reynolds doesn’t arrive with the sort of hype that surrounded another red-haired, left-footer from Scottish football - ie Tommy Craig in the 60s - but the defender has been among Scotland’s bright young things in recent years.
Indeed, after playing for his country at Under -19 (helping them reach the European U1-9 Championship finals where they lost to Spain), U-20 and U-21 level, the 23-year-old still reckons he’s in the market for a full cap one day and doing well with the Owls will push that particular cause.
“First and foremost I want to do well for this football club, to help them to promotion, to push on in the Championship and, hopefully, back into the Premier League,” says the central defender.
“If I can help in all that and do well then I think that can help the ambition of playing for my country.”
Certainly he is likely to be unfazed by the challenges of League One or any hostile crowds there might be having acquired the experience of playing 13 games in the Europa League with Motherwell and stepping into the cauldrons that are Celtic Park and Ibrox in the Scottish Premier League.
“When you’ve had 50,000 Celtic or Rangers fans giving you dog’s abuse, then you can take what’s coming,” he chuckled. “But what I’m looking forward to is playing in front of 20,000-odd at Hillsborough with them getting behind you like I heard on Saturday, which was fantastic.
“There’s a real expectation on the players to do well and the fans expect results and that’s part of being a big club. I just hope I can repay the manager’s faith in me because they’ve certainly worked hard to get me.
“With what’s happening here I hope it is the start of something special,” added Reynolds whose pace is a noted asset.
Madine, 20, said: “I’m delighted because this is a massive club with massive potential, I’m going to work hard and intend to become a better player and a better person too.
“Hopefully I’ll get a few goals and certainly it’s about getting promotion. I’ll be doing my best to try and achieve that,”