PLAYING CONNECTIONS: SHEFF WED & CITY
Club News28th April
Ahead of Saturday’s crucial clash at Hillsborough, we take a look at three players who have turned out for both the Bluebirds and the Owls over the years.
Bothroyd enjoyed three successful seasons with the Bluebirds in the summer of 2008. It wasn’t long before the striker established himself in City's starting line-up and scored his first goal for the club just one month into the season against Coventry City. He continued to impress and netted three times in six games before the year was out and finished the season with a solid 12 goals to his name.
The one-time England international made a bright start to the 2009-10 season, scoring in the first ever league match at Cardiff City Stadium and marking his 50th appearance for the Bluebirds with a goal against Watford in what turned out to be a 4-0 win. Following Mark Hudson’s injury, he also took over as captain on many occasions throughout the season and helped his side reach the play-off final in May. In his final year at the club, Bothroyd maintained respectable figures, finishing on 20 goals for the season and as City’s top goal scorer.
The 6’3” attacker signed a loan deal with Sheffield Wednesday in the August of 2012, keeping him at the club until the January Transfer Window. The 33 year-old made his debut on 14th September, however failed to find the net as the Owls lost 3-0 to Brighton. Nevertheless, it didn’t take much time for him to bag his first goal, scoring in a 1-1 draw at home to Leeds United in October. While this was his only goal for Wednesday, he made a total of 14 appearances in his five months at Hillsborough.
Loovens arrived in Wales for the 2005-06 season after signing on loan from Dutch giants Feyenoord. After 33 appearances and two goals from the heart of defence in his first year, he was signed on a permanent deal. The following season, the Holland international combined with Roger Johnson in what proved to be a vital partnership at the back. This helped the Bluebirds in all six matches on the way to the 2008 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Despite finding the back of the net in the final, Loovens' goal was disallowed and City went on to be runners-up.
The 32-year-old is currently signed by Saturday’s opponents and should start having already made 34 appearances for Wednesday this season. He initially signed a short-term deal with the Owls in December 2013 after impressing during a few weeks of training. His contract was subsequently extended and he was promptly handed the captaincy for the 2014-15 season, a responsibility he still holds today. Despite no goals in a blue and white shirt to date, Loovens still has 78 appearances for the Club and has played a big part in their 19 clean sheets.
MacLean ended up at Cardiff City after signing from this week’s opponents Sheffield Wednesday in June 2007. The six-foot striker began the season in the starting 11, keeping Robbie Fowler out of the team, and after being renowned for having never missed a penalty in his career, the former Scotland under-21 international came to Wales and missed one on his debut! Despite that, he scored his first goal for the Bluebirds in the following game against QPR as City won 2-1. After an injury-stricken season, MacLean only netted the once for Cardiff, but did make a total of 15 appearances during the course of the campaign.
MacLean spent three years at Sheffield Wednesday after signing in the summer of 2004. He kicked his first season off with 20 goals including three against Doncaster, the Club’s first away hat-trick for 32 years. The striker was also the first Owls player to net 20 times in a season since Mark Bright hit the target back in 1994.
After scoring a crucial penalty in the League One play-off final helping the Owls to promotion, MacLean ended up missing the start of the 2005-06 season with a broken leg sustained on the eve of the campaign. However, he returned to score against rivals Sheffield United and league champions Reading, earning Wednesday a 1-1 draw. Despite another injury setback the following year, he finished the 2006-07 season with 13 goals from 22 starts, making him the club’s joint top scorer that year alongside Deon Burton.