PRE-SEASON RAMBLE: Bury -v- Wednesday

PRE-SEASON RAMBLE: Bury -v- Wednesday

I’ve always had a thing about pre-season games and I see them not just as a way for the team get fit and hone their match sharpness but also for the fans to do the same…we’ve been hibernating for a while and it’s now time to wake up and dust off the cobwebs….

I know we’ve had the World Cup but watching it on telly and several notches above the standard we usually see doesn’t really get you set for the coming season and I really need this…I need to get set and rediscover my footy mojo.

I’ve enjoyed the break, not least because I’ve saved a chuffin fortune, but having missed the ‘Grand Depart’ at York last week this would be my own personal pipe opener.

There’s something really great about preparing for footy when the sun is cracking the flags and top of ya routine list are shorts and shades. Walking out to the car before setting off to get the Young Un it was just like being back on the pre-season tour of America…I was almost breathing hot again the air was that warm.

I’d had word from David Speakup that he could no longer come with us but he had been mithering at me all week about how bad the traffic would be if we left it too late. So we decided to set off a little earlier than we would normally but we didn’t need to take the slight detour to pick him up…this wasn’t a tricky journey, even for me and my satchuffinnav and was comfortably under an hour traffic permitting.

Good job we set off early...

Good job we set off early…

Young Un picked up and and we were on our way….tootling aong merrily and making good time in this non-existent traffic I was warned about…just as we got past Bradford we got a phone call from Mr Speakup….I’ve been given a pass out, I can come now, where are you?

Well I took your advice and set off early to avoid this chuffin traffic that hasn’t appeared…we’re just past Cleckheaton …OK, I’ll see you there…

In the end we rung him back and decided to wait for him at Junction 24 then carry on together to the game…it was a great journey…chelpin about footy and music and the journey flew past….there’s not much else ya need to talk about really is there?

As I mentioned, it’s an easy journey to the Salford stadium and once there we parked up and sauntered over to the ground…

Once we got inside we started looking for familiar faces when we heard a loud cockney voice….


We made our way up to where Pete was sitting, with Sally, Ian, Hoyland and likkle Kizza…


This 18ft 13ins tall young dude isn’t the Kizza I last saw…he’s humongously tall…hugs all round and we settled down for the game….

A beautiful summer evening with great company watching Wednesday…the footy mojo was stirring…

As the players from both sides warmed up in front of us, there was plenty for Wednesday fans to like about the Bury side as well as our own…with Danny Mayor, Chris Sedgwick and former fans favourite Ryan Lowe amongst their numbers along with Tom Soares on their teamsheet as well. The connection was strong and all the players were greeted warmly by the travelling fans with Ryan Lowe getting a nice rendition of

Ryan Lowe 01

Ryan Lowe feeling the luuurrv


Which he absolutely loved and turned smiling towards us and applauded in appreciation.


Well we didn’t have to wait long for a bit of action…we break forward really well and Lavery slots a beautiful little ball through the middle of the Bury defence for Jacques Maghoma to run onto, which he duly did and casually and skilful as ya like slid the ball home to put us a goal ahead inside a couple of minutes or so…

Moments later and the stadium announcer, who sounded like an eight year old boy was struggling with his pronunciation of the Wednesday goalscorer…


You could imagine the lad looking at the teamsheets and thinking….

PLEASE….Don’t let these three players score tonight…Maghoma, Nuhiu or Zayatte…

Not a good start for the little lad then…

After that great start to the game it settled into a proper pre-season game and no one looked over-excited or in any hurry to bust a gut…

Don’t get me wrong, there was the odd moment of sparkle from the likes of Kieren Lee, Liam Palmer and Caolan Lavery and a lovely mazy run from Michail Antonio….he picked the ball up around three miles out from the Bury goal…he sped past one Bury player…he swooped past a second…left a 3rd and 4th trailing in his wake, he bore down on goal with just the keeper to beat, he pulled the trigger and unleashed an absolute powerball of a shot….as it left his boot we gazed open mouthed as the ball skidded 498 yards wide of the goal…Good effort!

We looked pretty comfortable throughout the half, though Bury weren’t without their own moments of nice footy, it just didn’t get them far…until they got a corner….the ball was swung into the mix sweetly and it seemed as though every Wednesday player felt the same as they stood and admired the sweetness of it all whilst Danny Nardiello nipped in round the back to tap it home…1-1 from nothing really. A first half in which Bury flattered for brief moments but hardly looked like scoring….A scenario we’ve seen often as Wednesday fans.

As the half drew to a close Jose Semedo took a knock, the Young Un said it looked like he had a cut as he’d taken blow to the heed so nothing too serious and he was replaced by Giles Coke.

When they came out for the second half Bury had been given a bit of a pep talk by Fittlecroft and seemed to have a bit of urgency about them…we’d changed our keeper from Kieran Westwood to Joe Wildsmith, not that I noticed if I’m honest but he did well TBF to him and pulled off some smart saves throughout the half. Along with changing the keeper we swapped the centre half pairing too and off went Loovs and Hutchinson and on came Zayatte and Mattock.

They did OK to be fair to them against a spirited Bury attack without seemingly getting out of first gear…as play continued Madine warmed up down in front of us and was greeted with a warm round of applause from some Wednesday fans as Tango attempted an almost non-stop barrage of…


Madine never looked up…never changed his expression or acknowledge those fans chanting his name or applauding him….just before the hour mark Lavery made way for him and he stepped into the game.

A minute or so later and we had a free kick over on the far side which Antonio took…this time he got it smack on…not only was it delivered with accuracy but it had great pace too as it found the ample noggin of Atdhe Nuhiu who glanced it onwards and into the net….the Wednesday fans loved it…there’s a lot of love for the big man these days and we have high expectations for him this season so when he scores it’s as much an outpouring of love, albeit muted pre-season love, for the man himself as much as anything and I hope that continues into the new season.

Atdhe Nuhiu celebrates his first pre-season goal

Atdhe Nuhiu celebrates his first pre-season goal

The announcer of course was cursing the moment he’d agreed to do the gig as another on his list had scored…


Speaking of love….Sedgy was subbed moments after we scored and again, Wednesday shared the luuurrv as we stood and gave the former Wednesday man a nice round of applause which he appreciated and returned. He hadn’t had too bad a game for the home side.

Both sides shuffled the pack a few times as the game went on…Rhys McCabe replaced the industrious Kieran Lee and the loveable Eighty Noorhoohey was replaced by Chris Maguire.

With Bury the busier of the two sides at the start and looking like they were enjoying themselves you’d think that goal would have stopped them in their tracks and they would now roll over and let us win…naah, they were having none of it and Ryan Lowe in particular looking as though he was determined to score in front of the fans that loved him when he wore the blue and white shirt…he was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet when he did some lovely work down in front of us running at the Wednesday defence and creating himself a good opening but he fired the curling shot just wide…

We made another change and off went Maghoma and on came Paul Corry….he’d been pretty disappointing really had Maghoma after that piece of skill to set the scoring off. As he left the pitch though a lot of Wednesday fans shouted WELL DONE JACKWEZ!

As Bury were trying to get back into the game, H picked the ball up and ran at the Bury defence. It was a cracking run and him showing a glimpse of the qualities we know he has but doesn’t always show. Just to show he can make the right decisions too he lays off a beautiful ball to his left to Giles Coke who hit a low piledriver into the back of the net to finish the game off and confirm another win for Wednesday.

I’m sure I heard a sigh of relief from the announcer as the microphone burst into life….‘YES! AN EASY NAME! GET IN!’

Once again and even though the game was definitely over with us leading 3-1 and only minutes left, determined to make an impression on the game Ryan Lowe was not giving in and drew a good save from Wildsmith with a piledriver of his own but that was his last chance…the game was gone and it was all over.


It was an enjoyable evening with good friends, some of who we haven’t seen for a while so it was a pre-season meet up as well…the whole thing had an air of a school sports day about it…nice and relaxed and without any anxiety at all from players and fans alike.

We’ve learnt nothing from this game as far as the season ahead is concerned…I wouldn’t be surprised if Maguire gets quite a few cards for diving this season, and they are still as embarrassing as ever. Some players need to sharpen up their decision making as much as any other skill and whilst the footy mojo may well be out of the box, it’s still a little dusty…

Twitter: @Owlsalive & @Beastie_

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