SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Keeper conundrum

One of many: Stephen Bywater is expected to stay at Hillsborough though he has yet to put pen to paper
One of many: Stephen Bywater is expected to stay at Hillsborough though he has yet to put pen to paper
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WEDNESDAY fans are puzzling over the club’s goalkeeping department after they were linked again with Cardiff’s Tom Heaton.

On the face of it, the Owls do not need another goalkeepeer as they already have Nicky Weaver, Arron Jameson and new signing Chris Kirkland under contract and they expect Stephen Bywater to sign a new deal.

Even if Jameson goes out on loan - which is thought to be part of the plan - it would still leave three experienced men, Weaver, Kirkland and Bywater, competing for the No 1 spot.

The Heaton link first surfaced before Dave Jones signed former England keeper Kirkland - a transfer regarded by the Owls boss as a coup for the club.

Jones had never confirmed or denied interest in Heaton, who played for him at Cardiff and has been released by his successor as Bluebirds boss, Malky Mackay.

The latest link with Heaton could be the resurfacing of an issue that actually has been overtaken by events, but it cannot be dismissed completely.

If Bywater does not sign then there could be a question mark over the keeper department, and the fact that Jones still wanted Bywater to sign a new deal after he had landed Kirkland raised unanswered questions about Weaver’s future.

If Jones is thinking of what might happen in the future then Heaton may yet be on his radar.

It certainly seems out of the question that he would increase the size of the keeper department to five.

It is understood that terms have been agreed in principle with Bywater and that there is only the formality of the signing to complete. Jermaine Johnson and Mark Beevers are in a similar position.

Bywater displaced Weaver as first-choice keeper for the last four months of the promotion campaign, with Jones keeping him in place after taking over from Gary Megson.

Former Wednesday and Rotherham defender Guy Branston is looking forward to a new start after leaving Bradford and joining Aldershot. He said: “I have always believed in my ability. There are no flaws in my game that I can see.”