Sheffield Wednesday: Owls are in good hands with keepers

Owls keeper Arron Jameson is next in line behind Chris Kirkland after Stephen Bywater left the club
Owls keeper Arron Jameson is next in line behind Chris Kirkland after Stephen Bywater left the club
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Wednesday are in safe hands in more ways than one as they head towards the first day of pre-season training.

That is the view of former Owls goalkeeper Stephen Bywater who opted to turn down a new contract at Hillsborough in favour of joining Championship rivals Millwall.

Both clubs had offered the 32-year-old Bywater a two-year deal but “a change of scenery” was his choice.

However, he said he was leaving the Owls with a first rate goalkeeper in Chris Kirkland and backed youngsters Arron Jameson and Cameron Dawson to prosper.

“Chris has got an old school mentality that if you work hard you’ll get out what you put in,” Bywater said.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with him and goalkeeping coach Andy Rhodes.

“Chris is consistent, which is what you want from your goalkeeper. I’ve known him for a long time and he’s a good lad.

“The two young boys are still developing physically and mentally but they’re at a big club with all the support that they need.

“I think they’ll both go on to do well.”

It’s unlikely that Wednesday manager Dave Jones will begin the new season without an experienced back-up to Kirkland in the mould of Bywater.

With Nicky Weaver also leaving it means a strong-looking goalkeeping department needs at least one new face. Bywater said he’s confident Jones will make the correct decision: “It’s not for me to say what to do. I do know that the manager will do what is right for the club. He’ll do what is needed.”

After a season spent as understudy to Kirkland a similar situation may await for Bywater at Millwall behind Republic or Ireland No 1 David Forde.

However, he said: “Who knows what will happen. I just take things day-to-day.

“No one knows what will happen in football. And no one knows what will happen in life!”