VIDEO: Sheffield Wednesday spread their wings with the Eagles

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The Owls are hoping to pick up some converts from the oval ball game after extending their partnership with Sheffield Eagles.

The neighbouring clubs have forged a new education programme which will see Wednesday’s respected classroom teaching work in partnership with practical and community work conducted by the Eagles.

Ian Anniss and Andrew Henderson from Sheffield Eagles along with Ricky Hunt from Sheffield Wednesday (right)

Ian Anniss and Andrew Henderson from Sheffield Eagles along with Ricky Hunt from Sheffield Wednesday (right)

As well as setting youngsters on the path to employment or higher education, the Owls hope to attract a few more supporters down to Hillsborough.

“It will increase our fan base,” said Wednesday curriculum manager Ricky Hunt said. “There’s a lot of fans interested in football but don’t come down to watch.

“These guys who are playing rugby will come down.

“It’ll expand knowledge of the football club, what we’re doing in terms of a community programme and hopefully we’ll get more bums on seats on Saturday afternoons to watch Wednesday.”

Students on the programme will work towards a Level 3 BTEC extended diploma in sport, the equivalent of three A levels.

They will combine classroom time with practical sessions with Eagles coaches.

Hunt said: “With our background in education, expertise and success that we’ve had over the years, why not expand this from just doing football on the practical side to doing rugby.

“It allows young people who aren’t just interested in football to join and work with the quality coaching the Eagles have got.

“They have a great reputation and have proved how good they are at coaching young people.”

The education programme marks the further extension of community partnership between the two clubs, forged this year.

Eagles’ director of community, development and education Ian Anniss said: “Because we’ve moved into S6 at Owlerton, we explored what we could do with Sheffield Wednesday.

“We wanted to dovetail our existing work into what Wednesday already do.

“We’re delighted we could make it happen.”