He’s scored belts, dazzled crowds, helped the Owls to the brink of the Premier League and felt the devastation of relegation – Wednesday’s skipper is also determined to add promotion to that list.
When it comes to free transfers, Bannan has great value for money.
In 300 games for the Owls, he had 48 assists, scored 21 goals and played in over 35 games in all but one of his seasons at Hillsborough. It’s Mr. Reliable.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Cheltenham Town: Owls claim victory and return to action-…
It didn’t take long for fans to like him as he came second in the Player of the Season vote in his debut campaign, and from the start the feeling was mutual.
“I actually didn’t know how big they were until I came,” he told The Star. My first game for the club was against Burnley away, and there was an amazing crowd there.
“After that I started asking questions, and I remember once saying to Glenn Loovens, ‘I didn’t know it was that big’. He told me all about the amazing fans and the It’s good to find out what the culture of a club and the city is like – it’s a hard working city, so the fans want to see that from their players on the pitch…I think our fans like to see people give it their all, and they like to see the passion, people who are not happy to lose.
“You start to get an idea of what the club is like when you come here, and for me, I remember talking to people like Glenn and Lee Bullen about it. I had a good feeling, and I knew if I gave it my all and the other side of my game came out, they would take me.
“It’s been the best six or seven years of my career so far, and that’s come from playing games. That’s all I care about, I just want to play football – as long as I’m on a pitch I’m happy.”
And it’s safe to say he’s pretty happy right now.
Bannan has missed a game in Ligue 1 all season, has already beaten his best goal tally by hitting eight goals, and is three assists away from doing the same in this department having netted nine so far.
His daughter, Elsie, is now old enough to recognize that her song is sung in Hillsborough – and has even adapted it with her own name – and his future wife, Chloe, can see firsthand how much her future husband appreciates it.
Asked about the chant sung by Wednesdays – at home and away – he replied: “It’s amazing… It pushes you a bit more when you also hear them singing your name. It gives you a little more…
“Chloe didn’t really know much about football until she started coming to Sheffield Wednesday games, and when she hears people chanting her husband-to-be’s name it touches her too… I like this club very much, because they have shown it to me in abundance.
But as happy as the Owls skipper may be on the pitch, League One was never part of the plan. On a summer afternoon in 2016, he and his Wednesday teammates were at a Premier League game – instead it turned into ‘the worst day of my life’.
“Watching Wembley Way and seeing it full of Wednesday before the game was amazing,” he recalled. “Obviously we couldn’t get the result, but that day will stay in my memory for a long time.
“I tend to focus on the good things, with the crowd. But on that day, as a team, we could have done better – Hull were more experienced. Being so close and not understanding is something that burns within you, but we are trying to fix it.
Since then, the race has been tough for Wednesdays, as well as for the players who stayed.
After his relegation to Ligue 1, he could have gone there. He was out of contract and the subject of much interest, but from the minute the final whistle sounded at Derby County, he seemed adamant about trying to put things right.
He clearly felt like he was partly to blame for what happened – and this season he’s doing his best to redeem himself. Victory over Cheltenham Town this weekend in their 300th game means they will spend the weekend in the top six again, and another dance with the Play-Offs lottery is a very real possibility.
This time, however, they will have a 32-year-old Bannan at their side who is in the form of his life in terms of goal contributions, and his manager still thinks he has more in his locker.
“I’m really happy for Baz,” Darren Moore said as he hit the 300 game mark. “Reaching that number of games for a club these days is very, very rare because of player turnover, so I’m delighted he’s reached that milestone. And we want him to continue.
“He’s having an exceptional season, and you can see…
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This notice was published: 2022-03-27 15:49:34