Sheffield Wednesday: Owls keeper in stay or go poser

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It proved to be a season of watching for Stephen Bywater at Hillsborough.

The form of Chris Kirkland meant Bywater was restricted to the sidelines, making just four first team appearances for Sheffield Wednesday, all cup-ties, and none at all in The Championship as his teammate chalked up an ever-present record in the league.

With his contract up, but another one offered, the former Derby ‘keeper had some thinking time ahead of him.

The choice in terms of staying was obvious - more than likely as understudy again to Kirkland and the possibility of another season on the sidelines assuming Kirkland’s form and standards remained.

So, it was no surprise to see Bywater being linked with other clubs including the prospect of a return to link up with an old colleague at Millwall.

Steve Lomas, who recently replaced the departed Kenny Jackett at the New Den, and Bywater, were teammates together at West Ham in the later 1990s and beyond. In fact, they were at Upton Park together for seven years.

Therefore, Lomas will know what Bywater would bring him. As for Bywater, however, the words frying pan and fire may arise.

Millwall goalkeeper David Forde was acknowledged as one of the best ‘keepers in The Championship last season and he has forced his way into the Republic of Ireland side.

So, assuming Forde, 33, (the Wednesday man was 32 last week) isn’t going anywhere, would Bywater swap the No 2 spot at Hillsborough for the prospect of a similar role down in South London at the New Den?

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