SHEFFIELD Wednesday are to depart from tradition by scrapping their reserves team next season.
Manager Gary Megson believes that private friendlies can be more useful and that organised second-string football does not serve a purpose like it used to do.
He said: “We’ll be getting rid of the reserves team this year.
“You might think that’s quite a departure from the norm, but it isn’t.
“I would say that in three years’ time, there won’t be a reserve league. I know there are three Premier League clubs who will be getting rid of their reserve teams, because it’s not what it used to be. You’re not getting out of it what you want.
“When I first started, every Reserve game would be played on the first-team pitch. It would be full of pros who weren’t in the first team. Now, they’re near enough glorified youth games, which is putting too much emphasis on the youth players.
“They have their own competitions and development to do, without fulfilling reserves fixtures.
“What we’ll do is arrange games at Hillsborough or Middlewood or away, bring in our own referees and dictate how many subs we can use, and if we want to play three half hours, take people off and put them back on again, we can do that, behind closed doors, and we can kick off when it suits us.”