International call-ups for some of Sheffield Wednesday's talented youngsters have provided a barometer for the progress made by the club at that level, according the under 23s coach.
Neil Thompson described as 'fantastic' the fact three of his players were away on duty with their respective countries over the past couple of weeks and says it shows how much the academy is improving at Wednesday.
George Hirst played for England under 18s as they took on Saudi Arabia and two games games against Qatar in Doha, scoring in the first of that double header. Fraser Preston represented Scotland under 19s as they fell to defeats to Austria and Czech Republic in the Uefa European Championships qualifier. Finally, central defender Connor O'Grady received a first call-up to the Republic of Ireland's under 21s, but was an unused substitute in their 1-0 win over Kosovo in a Euro 2019 qualifier.
"It's fantastic and it shows the strides the club have made in the academy in the last four or five years," said Thompson. "That's what we want to do - unfortunately when they go away you can't use them which sometimes leaves you a bit stretched but it's great recognition for Connor O'Grady and George Hirst and Fraser Preston, those two are back later in the week
"It's a fantastic experience to go and play with the best players in their country and for them to have a little taste of that and come back to their bread and butter."