Aston Villa are through to the Championship play-off final. They defeated rivals West Brom on penalties to secure their place at Wembley later this month. The hero of the shoot-out was undoubtedly Jed Steer.
The goalkeeper made two great saves from 12 yards, blocking both Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi’s efforts.
It is quite a turnaround for the player, who has been waiting for his Aston Villa chance for several seasons. He has certainly proved a point to former Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce.
After missing out on Sam Johnstone in the summer, a new recruit was expected. However, Steer also had a claim. The 26-year-old’s career has been blighted by injuries. But he has been a Championship regular, playing 38 games on loan at Huddersfield Town in 2015-16. When he started the opening game of the season, it looked like Aston Villa might finally be giving him a chance.
Instead, Bruce signed both Orjan Nyland and Andre Moreira and loaned Steer out to Charlton Athletic. Injury to Nyland saw Steer return to Villa Park under Dean Smith but Croatia international Lovre Kalinic’s arrival in January again relegated him to back-up.
But after Kalinic showed some serious teething issues Smith decided to put his faith in Steer. That now that looks like being an inspired decision.
Steer has proved many people wrong with his form since returning from Charlton. Bruce is just one of those and Smith’s renewed faith in Steer has been rewarded.