Sheffield Wednesday: Martinez targets Owls chance

Damian Martinez is on loan from Arsenal until January
Damian Martinez is on loan from Arsenal until January
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Keeper Damian Martinez is targeting the Owls No 1 spot as they face another nine games before his loan is up.

Even if he does not manage to displace Chris Kirkland, the Arsenal 21-year-old will regard his two-month stay as good experience.

He feels he is already benefiting from being in a first-team environment and insists that he has not been disappointed after the Owls were recommended to him by Arsenal coach and former Owls assistant manager Terry Burton.

Martinez’s long-term goals are to be first choice for the Gunners and Argentina - even if he currently faces stiff competition at clubs and country.

“I just came to Sheffield Wednesday to help them and have experience; back at Arsenal, I am fighting to be No 1 then thinking of Argentina,” he said. “I am working for it; I really want it.

“Arsenal have (Wojciech) Szczesny and (Lukasz) Fabianski; they are top keepers. I know I am really young. Szczesny is young as well (23). It is interesting competition for my career.”

Martinez has already been in his country’s senior squad twice and has played for the Under 17s and Under 20s.

He rates Burton as a top coach: “He really knows about football, and is a great guy as well.

“He said to me: ‘Go to Sheffield Wednesday; it’s a great staff, the manager and goalkeeping coach are brilliant; they are in the relegation zone at the moment; you have an opportunity there; go there for a month or two; if nothing happens, just come back.”

So far, he has been on the bench but has been praised by Dave Jones. Says Martinez: “The staff, the goalkeeping coach (Andy Rhodes) and my team-mates are perfect. We just need a few more wins.

“I am just giving everything in training. I’ve played in two friendlies and done all right.

“I am not disappointed, I am really young, and Chris is a great keeper. But there are a lot of games coming up. Anything can happen, I am just waiting for my opportunity; it may come in the next game or later, or not at all.

“I am trying to push Chris, a top keeper; we are on the same level; I am trying to push the manager as well to decide who is going to play.”

Wednesday academy keeper Joe Wildsmith, aged 17, has been given a two-and-a-half-year professional contract.

He was on the bench - with Cameron Dawson in the team - as the Under 21s lost 4-1 away to Leicester last night in the Premier League Cup.

The Owls were 3-0 down when Andelko Savic pulled a goal back just before half time.