Article written for Wednesdayite.com
Welcome to the new school year.
You’ve now moved up to ‘big school’ so the work is going to get harder and more intense. We expect results throughout the year and not just cramming like you did last year. You won’t always get away with a passing on your final exam you know!
Throughout the next year you will be taking lessons in science, history, maths of Sheffield Wednesday and all the other core subjects you’ll need to pass this year 1. If you are successful you’ll be moved up to the top set, so there is a lot for you to strive for. You will receive a mid term report to check on your progress and an end of year report.
We’re going to start today with a lesson in Geography. This lesson is important, as you’ll be attending a number of field trips this year.
Let’s beginning with Physical Geography and the highest and lowest points you will visit this year. I’m not talking about emotional highs and lows like beating the neighbouring school on sports day again. No, I’m talking about your position at sea level.
Oldham is the highest club you will visit this season, depending on how you progress through the tournaments. Boundary Park is the 2nd highest football league ground after The Hawthorns (West Bromwich Albion). Boundary Park is 526 feet (160 metres) above sea level compared to the 552 feet (168 metres) of WBA. Hillsborough is slightly above average at 228 feet (69.5 metres) above the sea.
Let’s all take this chance to welcome Kieran Lee who has moved to Hillsborough from the second highest league club, Oldham. Did you need to wear an oxygen mask when you did PE lessons Kieran?
The closest ground to sea level you will visit this year is the KC Stadium in Hull, which is only 6 feet (1.8 metres) above sea level. The only two grounds closer to sea level are Southampton (3 feet/91cm ) and Grimsby’s Blundell Park (2 feet/60cm).
You will get a chance to survey the seaside when on your trips to Blackpool and Brighton, I hear there are fascinating rock formations at both. I particularly like the breakfast plate rock formation.
Whilst we are on the subject, Brighton & Hove Albion is the furthest club you will visit this season. In total the Sheffield Wednesday team will travel 4998 miles just playing Championship games. As the crow flies Brighton is 186 miles from S6 but 229 miles by road.
The shortest visit will be to Oakwell which is only 9 miles from Hillsborough so you can tell your parents that the coach won’t be late back that evening.
Let’s move onto a little bit of Human Geography. Hillsborough has always attracted people from all countries, cultures and religions. You only have to look around the classroom now to see your fellow students from Spain, Portugal and even Benin.
Another new member at Hillsborough this year is Nejc Pecnik who is Slovenian. In terms of demographics it is reported that 1% of the Slovenian population now live in the United Kingdom.
Another high diaspora in the UK is the Jamaican population. We’ve had a couple of past students who have played internationally for the self named ‘Reggae Boys’, Deon Burton and Darryl Powell.
Johnson, you’re from Jamaica aren’t you? Not you Johnson the other Johnson!
Over 250,000 Jamaican’s live in Greater London with a large proportion living in Brent, Hackney and Southark where we will visit Millwall this year and Croydon to visit Crystal Palace. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to observe some of the cultural celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence, whilst we’re visiting. I’ll be keeping my eye on you though Johnson!
Well that’s all for today boys. Don’t forget to collect your uniform from the stores prior to the field trip to Oldham and pack waterproofs, we’re going to be high up on Monday and hopefully even higher at the end of the year.”