Date: 5th February 2009 at 1:23am
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Very welcome news: legendary Owls physio Alan Smith is back at Hillsborough!

Once again, in a season where team selection has been severely hampered by a long string of injuries, Owls chairman Lee Strafford has got right to the heart of the problem and recruited a model professional with Champions and Premier League experience, who has served under seven England managers, and of course is a Wednesdayite through and through, having worked for the club in promotion and cup-winning seasons in the top two divisions and in Europe.

Smithy told the official web site: ‘I am honoured to be involved with the new regime at Sheffield Wednesday in the capacity of consultant physiotherapist.

‘Brian Laws showed initiative and professionalism when he invited me down to the club at the end of December after he had been forced to travel to Cardiff City with 13 players injured and was unable to fill the substitutes bench.

‘I spent two weeks conducting a consultancy report on physiotherapy within the club which was submitted to Brian, Lee Strafford, Nick Parker, and Howard Wilkinson and my suggestions have obviously been acted upon.

‘I am really pleased to be able assist Sheffield Wednesday in an ongoing role with the club and I must praise Lee Strafford for his efforts in developing this aspect of the club’s infrastructure. It is also nice to be working with Howard Wilkinson again, he has a wonderful track record and is without question a great asset to Sheffield Wednesday.’

A couple of weeks ago, one of the talking points on the Vital SWFC forums was ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could get Alan Smith back?’ Dreams do come true, it seems. Welcome back, Alan: we’re sure you’ll be working your particular brand of magic very soon. It’s great to see you at the club again!