Sheffield Wednesday: HowÂ young Isaac Rice earned his Owls summons from Jos Luhukay
Sheffield Wednesday starlet Isaac Rice knew nothing about his Yorkshire-derby call into the Sheffield Wednesday senior squad until the day before the match.
Boss Jos Luhukay put Rice on the bench for the Owls' 1-1 Championship draw with high-flying Leeds United at Hillsborough last Friday as a reward for the teenager's impact in the club's youth set-up.
It was an early birthday present for the Academy prospect who turned 18 yesterday.
"He was a little bit surprised when I told him on Thursday after training that he would be involved," revealed Luhukay whose side are at home to leaders West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.
"We have been following him in the last months in the under-18s. He's the captain of the team. He has made a very good impression on us in the last weeks and months.
"He has made a lot of progression at his young age. We wanted to give him the experience of being in the squad."
Rice was back in more familiar surroundings less than 24 hours after the Leeds clash, turning out for the Owls' U-23 side in their 4-0 loss at Birmingham City on Saturday.
Luhukay, whose side are 12th in the table after only one defeat in their last seven league outings, has given youth a chance this season and Rice is the latest on the production line following the breakthroughs of Matt Penney, Jordan Thorniley, Ash Baker and Fraser Preston.
"Isaac is the next player from the Academy who can make a good progression," the manager said. "Hopefully we will keep on bringing them through."
Rice tweeted after the derby: Â "Great experience."