SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Owls out to breed stars of future

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DAVE Jones already has eyes on the longer-term Hillsborough future amid the push to win promotion this season.

The Owls manager regards the production of young players as important and will form a ‘development squad’.

This will help to bring on youngsters who are too old for the academy but not yet ready for the senior group.

“It bridges the gap for players who are between the ages of 18 and 23,” said Jones, who is proud of the record that Cardiff achieved in producing young talent when he was in charge there.

“The best thing for supporters is to see home-grown talent playing in their team,” he added.

“At Cardiff we had players such as Cameron Jerome, Aaron Ramsey, Chris Gunter and Darcy Blake come through.

“Over three years we had the best record for producing players and we went scouting in France and all over the place.”

Recruiting players when they are at a young age is another element of his strategy. Cameron Jerome had been on Middlesbrough’s books before he was signed by Cardiff.

The addition to the Owls staff of Paul Wilkinson, who was reserve team coach under Jones with the Bluebirds, is intended to aid the club’s recruitment and development of players.

Terry Burton - now assistant Wednesday manager after the departure of Chris Evans - has a background in youth coaching as well as the senior game and was academy director at Wimbledon.

Burton was credited with bringing through Tony Adams at Arsenal and Ramsey at Cardiff before the young midfield player was signed by Arsenal.

Jones will not be reviving reserve team league football, which was ended by Gary Megson.

Clubs can always arrange games among themselves - as happened when the Owls played Doncaster this week.