THERE was a time when Sheffield Wednesday would have leaped at a chance to sign Iain Turner.
But the former loan star’s release by Everton will barely cause a ripple at Hillsborough these days.
The goalkeeping position is just about the only one not coming under re-assessment by Gary Megson.
Nicky Weaver has been a huge success and has signed a new two-year contract; youngsters Richard O’Donnell and Arron Jameson have made good progress and have a year left on their deals.
But Turner must make a fresh start away from Goodison Park after a downturn in his fortunes since he helped the Owls to launch an unlikely Championship promotion challenge, playing 11 games in early 2007.
Wednesday were unbeaten during his time with them and Brian Laws was hoping to keep him on a full transfer or a longer-term loan.
But Everton wanted him back, gave him a new contract, and plunged him into the team to face Manchester United because Tim Howard was on loan from Old Trafford and ineligible. When the keeper had a nightmare day in a 4-2 defeat by United at Goodison, Owls fans could scarcely believe his performance, as he had been superb in his time at Hillsborough.
He never finished on the losing side as the team moved to within two points of the top six.
A 2-0 defeat at Birmimgham in the penulatimate match ended the Owls’ slim hopes of the play-offs - on the same day that Turner suffered at Everton.
Wednesday had seasons when they needed extra stability and strength in the goalkeeping department.
But those worries were ended, first by Lee Grant, and now by the current threesome.
Turner, aged 27, has also been knocked back by injury but he had loan spells at Forest and Coventry, and spent the last three months of this season on loan at Preston, playing 17 games.
Meanwhile, Paul Sturrock, who signed another loan keeper who was oustanding for the Owls, Scott Carson, has scoffed at claims that he is leaving Southend for Torquay.
“I came here to put a team together and structure a football club,” he said.
“I haven’t put the team together as I would like it, and that’s something I want to do next season.”