Caolan Lavery will join an exclusive club tomorrow when he becomes the latest player to feature for both Sheffield clubs.
The 23-year-old Canadian striker hopes to re-ignite his career at Sheffield United after his four-year stay at Wednesday drifted to an end.
Crossing the Steel City divide can be daunting, but United manager Chris Wilder – a staunch Blades fan – has no worries Lavery will cope with the extra burden.
Having signed for United in the summer transfer window, the striker has been working hard to build up his match fitness.
Now he is set to make his United debut tomorrow, with the visit of Peterborough United, following in the footsteps of players like Terry Curran, Simon Stainrod and Imre Varadi from yesteryear.
In recent decades, players to don both the red and white stripes and blue and white stripes include Carl Bradshaw, Richard Cresswell, Leigh Bromby, Derek Geary, Owen Morrison, Alan Quinn and Jon-Paul McGovern.
Blades boss Wilder was a team-mate of Bradshaw’s under Dave Bassett in the early Nineties.
The 48-year-old believes as long as players give 100 per cent for United, Blades supporters will put their cross-city journey to one side.
Wilder said: “I got a message sent through to me from a supporter saying ‘a team that gives 100 per cent is all we ask for’.
“That’s all I ask for too. When Lav signed, there have been enough players who have crossed over.
“The biggest compliment I can give is to Brads.
“He crossed over and I loved him to bits because of the way he played during Harry’s era.
“In Neil’s (Warnock), there was Del Geary, who is back here working now, and he did the same thing too.
“Whether you come from a big club, a small club or from across the city, that’s what you’ve got to do – give everything.
“We are not just going to pick players who run around and give 100 per cent.
“They have to tick a few more boxes than that. Lavs does that and I don’t think it’s an issue at all.”
After loans spells at Southend United, Plymouth, Chesterfield and Portsmouth, Lavery had become a peripheral figure at Hillsborough.
In four years at S6, he only started 16 league games, but netted six goals.
Two of those goals came as a substitute in the 6-0 thrashing of Leeds United on January 11, 2014.
He will add to an impressive United attack that includes Billy Sharp, Leon Clarke and Matt Done.
Wilder is excited at seeing Lavery get started.
He said: “Caolan showed that desire (to move). The move is never an easy one across the city.
“I don’t want to pile too much pressure on him because he is a young player, but we are really excited to have him here.
“He’s young, he’s aggressive and he’s brave. Defenders are frightened of pace and he’s got that too. He certainly makes us, the group, better.
“He had an hour in the Under-23’s so he’ll be involved at the weekend. He’s worked really hard with the conditioners and also on his own.
“He’s trained with the first team too. He won’t be 100 per cent up to speed.”
Wilder has opted against offering former Nottingham Forest winger Chris Burke a permanent deal after the 32-year-old free agent spent time on trial at Bramall Lane.
Wilder explained: “We wanted a certain type, he just didn’t quite fit in to what we want.
“It’s not been a waste of time. He’s had a look at us and we did him. There’s no doubt he’ll get fixed up with a club.
“He’s a great professional. But he just didn’t fit in 100 per cent to what we want to do.”
Defender Reece Brown is another free agent looking to earn a Blades deal, and he is due to play for the Under-23s next week.
“Reece has impressed us all since coming in and we’ll make a decision possibly at the end of next week,” Wilder said.
“I don’t want it to be like Piccadilly Circus with players coming in all the time. I don’t want a free for all.
“I want to make sure numbers are tight, but if they can improve the squad, if Reece does that, then they’ll come in.
“We want to create that tight-knit atmosphere and I think we’re getting there with that now.”
United have picked up three successive league wins to start climbing the table after a poor start.
Back-to-back away wins at Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon mean the Blades return to Bramall Lane in high spirits.
“The team is playing with a swagger and a confidence,” said Wilder.
“But I understand that, in this game, when you think you’ve made it something smacks you right between the eyes.
“The challenge now is to go from three to four [wins in a row]. They are a very dangerous team, they can hurt you. But we can win.”