At the end of last week Sheffield Wednesday striker Sam Winnall made his long-awaited return to the pitch as he got 45 minutes under his belt for our Under 23 side as we faced Crewe Alexandra.
????"I'm really looking forward to getting back involved with the squad and getting myself hopefully challenging for a place in the starting eleven..”
— Sheffield Wednesday (@swfc) October 16, 2018
The 27-year-old last played in early February for then loan club Derby County and he did rack up seven goals in 21 appearances in total for them, so whilst the runout is definitely a marker for him to build from, he still has some way to go before he can come back into first-team contention and try and earn himself a shot under Jos Luhukay in the season of 2018/19, but at least that return is nearing now.
His last appearance for us was back in August 2017 prior to his loan, so it has been a while since fans saw him.
Speaking to the Official Site yesterday, the former Barnsley man said of his time back out on the pitch.
“All I am focused on is getting myself back in the starting 11. Hopefully scoring goals and helping this club to be successful. I see it as a fresh start. It is going to be a fresh start for me under new management and new staff and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m really looking forward to getting back involved with the squad and getting myself hopefully challenging for a place in the starting eleven.”
Winnall was also, rightly, full of praise for club staff for helping him to recover and rebuild his fitness this far and they’ll have taken a boost from him hitting what became the winning goal in the match as well.
Owls fans were certainly delighted to see him get back on the scoresheet.
— Stefan Payne (@Stefanpaynee) October 12, 2018
Class pal , glad to see you back ????????????♂️????
— Shaun Tuton (@Shaun_Tuton) October 12, 2018
No one deserves it more than you! ❤️
— Laura Stanford (@laurapieliz) October 13, 2018
Delighted to have you back and playing for #swfc again. You could have a role to play for us this season. Jos will give you an opportunity…
— David Turner (@dcturner71) October 12, 2018
Great to see you back in blue and white Sam, good luck for the rest of the season ????
— Kerry Lomas (@KLomas68) October 12, 2018
I’d imagine similar reactions (and that was a small portion) when he gets his first senior goal again.