Sheffield Wednesday: Llera takes pride in his record

Miguel Llera celebrates his winner at Brentford
Miguel Llera celebrates his winner at Brentford

Miguel Llera has left Hillsborough with a sense of pride.

Even when not selected he has been fit for every Wednesday game for the last two years.

It is a remarkable record, especially for a defender who is approaching the age of 35.

While various experienced colleagues have suffered injury problems, Llera has just kept going - though not in the starting 11 as often as he would wish. His disappointment about his shortage of opportunities is what any manager would expect of a player who gets left out.

Stuart Gray spoke recently of Llera as a “top professional who keeps himself fit”.

But Gray and Dave Jones brought in signings to replace him and had reservations about his defending.

“Disappointed” to have been released, he says: “In two and a half years I did not miss a training session. I was a professional, 200 per cent. I don’t think the club valued me enough. But I think the fans did believe in me. No centre half scored more goals than me. I don’t think the players who came in showed they were better than me.”

But he can look back on a “lot of good moments.” He scored 11 goals for the club, and was hero of the 2012 promotion run-in.

He scored two of the most important goals of that period - a long-range free kick that was the breakthrough in a 2-0 win away to promotion rivals Huddersfield, and a glancing header from a corner that clinched a 2-1 victory at Brentford in the penultimate game, and took the Owls to the brink of promotion.

Meanwhile, the annual Owls in the Park fun day in Hillsborough Park will held on Sunday, July 13, from 11am to 5.30pm. There will be player appearances, a funfair, stalls, music and sessions in football, futsal, tennis, basketball and volleyball put on by coaches from the community staff.

Last year’s event attracted around 15,000 people. Community manager Marcus Brameld said: “It is a fantastic event for all the family.”