Lewis Wing endured a tricky 2020/21, ending the season with relegated Rotherham United, but the 26-year-old is looking to kick on in the third tier this time around with Darren Moore’s Sheffield Wednesday, he told Teesside Live.
The cultured central midfielder is on his second loan move away from Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough, this time dropping into the third tier, ensuring he is first choice.
After making just 12 league appearances in the first half of last season, Wing was desperate to find a new home that would provide regular first team action. The 26-year-old explained how difficult he had found being out of favour at the Riverside.
Wing said: “I started playing golf all the time when I probably shouldn’t have. I just knew I wasn’t going to be playing so I got into golf. It took my mind off football to be fair which was a good release to me.
“Covid didn’t help at all; I was just going to training and going straight home. Knowing the fact that I was not going to be involved and was not going to play as much as I would have liked was really difficult.”
The article reveals some of the back story to football behind closed doors and how tough it was not only for supporters who could not carry out their favourite weekend activity, but also for the players on the fringes in the surreal soulless times that we are thankfully moving away from.
He continued: “When this opportunity came up, I said to my agent this was where I wanted to go.
“It is really important at this stage of my career to be playing regular first-team football, not only for my family and stuff to support them, but the mental health side of it.”
At 26, Wing is close to or in his peak years, not the age to be warming the bench and he has recognised that. It has been a turbulent period at the Riverside since relegation from the Premier League and players like Wing have felt the brunt of that transition.
Wing is an excellent signing for League One level, a great coup for Darren Moore.
Alongside Barry Bannan and Dennis Adeniran, the Owls have arguably the strongest midfield contingent in the division and one that, if they stay injury free, should enable the club to capitalise on their impressive start, picking up seven points from their opening three matches.
It shows a strength of character that the Boro man was willing to open up to the publication, admitting his frustrations with Warnock and yearning for a consistent spot in the team.
Wing will be in action against his old club Rotherham at the New York Stadium on Saturday, hoping the Owls can push themselves into the automatic promotion spots.