JOSE SEMEDO – MAGIC AND MEMORIES

JOSE SEMEDO – MAGIC AND MEMORIES

Players come and go but few leave a lasting impression on a club like Jose Semedo.

With his six year spell at Hillsborough likely to come to an end, I asked a few people to dedicate some words to the midfield maestro and as ever Owls Alive delivers.

We’ll lead off with Charlie Sharpe:

 

Loyalty

 

It is rare these days for a player to stay at a club for more than a few years – especially if the club moves into a higher division – Jose Semedo has become one of that rare species.

In his first season he won both our Player of the Year & the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year for League One, as he proved that opposition players would never get past him.

We’ve seen over the years that there is less loyalty from players towards clubs, even if they’ve come through the academy or are “lifelong fans” (think Richard Wood).

I don’t really blame players for this as their careers are short and I’d rather see players wanting to do well at the highest level possible, playing regularly, rather than sitting stealing a wage (Lewis McGugan).

When you see a player from another country come into your club and just instantly connect with it, it’s pretty special.

Semedo became in instant hit

Since signing, Semedo made it clear that he had felt a really strong bond with our club, even going as far as saying that when he visited Hillsborough with Charlton he knew that he would pull on the blue and white one day.

There are so many amazing memories and moments that I think of when I think of Semedo: his first goal for us away at Wycombe; his instrumental role in our promotion season; the iconic picture of him after O’Grady scored against that sorry lot down the road; Semedo Day and just seeing his smile every time he represents our team.

I was at Wolves for our final game before the playoffs in 2015/16 and the scenes at the end with Semedo had me welling up. If anybody ever doubted how much he loved playing for us then they just need to look at the videos from that day.

All of us there that day, Semedo included, thought that was his last game and we gave him a proper send off to show our appreciation.

It seems that now we really have said goodbye to Jose Semedo and as much as I’d love to see him see out his career with us, I also believe he deserves to be playing football.

I’d hate to see him up against us but if he’s to go to another club then I wish him all the luck in the world. I’d like to see him at a local club like Bradford or Donny, that way he won’t be up against us and could stay in the beautiful area of Sheffield that he so passionately loves.

Thank you Semedo.

Charlie
(@THESharpey)

 

 

Leader

 

Megson: crafting identity

It seems an eternity since the summer of 2011 when a Portuguese midfielder left Charlton to join Wednesday.

A lot has changed since then, in the 2010/11 season the Owls finished 15th in League One.

It was a tumultuous season with initial off field strife but decent results on the field but once the strife was solved, several new signings were made, the chemistry of the team suffered, results went tits up, Alan Irvine was sacked and Gary Megson was brought in.

Results didn’t improve and it was obvious it wasn’t a tweak job ahead for Megson, it was a knock down the house and rebuild it.

One of Megson’s first aims was to add steel to the powderpuff midfield. Darren Potter and James O’Connor combined might have made a half decent footballer but as a central pairing they stunk. Potter was moved on, his last contribution in an Owls shirt being a perfect pass to an Exeter player leading to the Grecians’ winner on the last day of the season.

To counter this Megson signed Jose Semedo who immediately got fans onside by professing he saw it as a very special club. Initially it was a slow start but after a 5-1 shellacking at Stevenage, Semedo came to the fore and week in, week out he was the lynchpin of the side, nipping attacks in the bud, starting them off.

Sometimes people rely on statistics to prove someone’s worth and if you looked at Jose Semedo statistically, 167 SWFC appearances, 2 goals, not many assists, you’d be wondering why folk are making such a big deal out of it.

But to measure Semedo on statistics isn’t fair, he was that man who did all the little unappreciated things that made that 2011/12 Wednesday side tick, he managed to make those around him look better, he was a leader of a side that had for so long lacked any metal.

He was the magic man.

After promotion, opportunities became fewer and although Semedo was still a regular, he struggled with the step up.

Jose celebrates promotion with his brother Vitor (Sheffield Star)

Being a true professional though, he never complained and remained a fine ambassador for the club, I’ve lost count of the positive stories I’ve read about him and his work for the club and community and you could always guarantee that if called upon for first team duty he’d give 100% every single time – he never let the four managers he served under down.

I was there for both of his goals and for those who remember his strike against Wycombe, it was a goal a striker would have been proud of, somehow getting the ball from behind his feet and getting it into the net.

His other one against Mansfield was a simpler effort but part of me wished he had scored in that final day of the 2011/12 season in the Wycombe match, the roofs would have come off of Hillsborough had he stuck one in that day.

Players like Jose Semedo don’t come along every day, in a modern football era of spoiled professionals getting locked up, refusing to play and getting the monk on about wages, Jose Semedo is the embodiment of a man who you would love at your club, 100% effort, 100% good attitude, 100% professionalism.

I hope that this isn’t a permanent farewell from S6 for the magic man, more a ta-ra, see you in a bit.

Thank you for the memories Jose, it’s been a pleasure.

D-Good
(@MoseleyOwl)

 

 

The making of a legend

 

Loyalty is something you don’t see as much in the modern game.

Players kiss the badge when they score, pledging their allegiance to one club before tripling their wage when signing for another, they bet against their own team out of spite when they aren’t selected for that weekend’s game, and sometimes they just refuse to play.

It would seem there is no room for loyalty in the professional game, which is why those players who care for the team as much as the fans become club icons.

When Semedo first visited Hillsborough, at the time playing for Charlton, he said he was blown away by the atmosphere, and that he knew from that point he wanted to play for this club.

Who wouldn’t want to play under that?

That summer he got his wish.

Since signing he quickly became a favourite with the fans as it became clear that he shared the passion we in the stands felt, and as the team progressed to where we are today, with the free transfers and lower league players replaced by top scorers and big names with big contracts, whenever Semedo took the pitch, his song from the kop was always the loudest.

To me, Jose Semedo should be held in the same regard as players like Hirst, Waddle, Bullen, and Nilsson.

He may have not reached the success that some of our club icons have, but he is someone who loves this club as much as we do, and always gave 100%.

Good Luck to Jose, wherever he chooses to ply his trade next. Hopefully he will be back with us soon as someone with the passion and drive that he has will always have something to give to us.

Dan
(@danmoxon)

 

 

Semedo is a phenomenon

 

My Dad claims he saw Jose Semedo in the BP garage on Leppings Lane roundabout once, when he was picking up my Nan’s pension from the post office.

This was around the time Carlos Carvalhal joined Sheffield Wednesday and the Portuguese revolution had begun.

Dad told me he saw a very fit and fatherly player in Wednesday training gear, talking earnestly to a group of younger players in Portuguese.

Now as much as I want to believe that Jose takes players to the local garage for a takeaway Costa and a sausage roll from the hot plate, I’m not entirely convinced it was him…although from what I know about Jose Semedo, I wouldn’t rule it out.

Perhaps Lucas Joao is more partial to a steak bake? (Sheffield Star)

Semedo is a phenomenon.

How often do you find a player at a club that is universally adored? Every touch of the ball, of every substitute appearance this season was cheered and celebrated because we just didn’t know if that would be the last time we saw Jose in a Wednesday shirt.

Each appearance had an element of pathos; joy with a tinge of sadness.

Jose is evidently a spiritual man.

You only have to follow his Twitter feed to see he is a bundle of positivity. His inspirational quotes of the day and positive analysis of games, even when we have lost, showed that he was an important asset in The Owls’ dressing room.

Before the stunning 5-1 victory against Norwich City this season, Fernando Forestieri had been lacking in confidence. He revealed to The Star that his performance that day was down to Jose.

“Semedo sits next to me and say ‘you are the best player, you need to help the team…I said if I score today I go to you, so I went to him and cuddled him.”

I genuinely think that anyone would feel better after a Jose Semedo cuddle. Make him a UN ambassador, he’d have the Middle East sorted in no time.

What endears him further with the fans is his love for Sheffield Wednesday.

In an interview with Shoot magazine in 2015 he explained how Gary Megson took him up into the stands before his home debut.

He remembered it gave him “goosebumps” and said “thank god I play for this club, in this white and blue shirt.”

If he’d said ‘massive’ that interview I think some fans would have invited him home and told him to help himself to the furniture… or their other half.

As a player, without being too mean, he isn’t spectacular. When he first arrived from Charlton Athletic, I’d never seen a player more frightened of crossing the half way line.

He looked like a startled bunny and you could sense his relief when someone relieved him of the ball. As the seasons progressed though he got fitter, more confident and dare I say more skilful. He flourished under Stuart Gray and playing next to Kieran Lee in midfield. He became a reliable man when we needed him most in midfield and defence.

Although there is still a chance he might be offered a contract at the club, most Wednesday fans will agree that as a player he’s not at the standard we need anymore.

However, as a potential coach, motivator, guidance and morale counsellor, Jose Semedo still has a lot to offer The Owls. It would be a shame to sever all connection with a man who loves his club and a club who loves this man.

If he stays, I’ll send him an invitation to meet him at the BP garage and treat him to a sausage roll and a coffee.

Laura
(@YICETOR)

 

We sincerely hope that Jose stays, in some capacity.

What he has given to this club – and what the fans have given to him – truly is the essence of football.

In twenty years, this past season could prove to be a forgettable link in the Sheffield Wednesday promotion arc. Hopefully.

We will, and many already have, forgotten the bore draws and the Painting-By-Numbers approach to winning games.

Nobody will have forgotten the special bond that club and player shared in a six year spell.

Until we meet again.

OwlsAlive
owlsalive@gmail.com
@OwlsAlive


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *