SHEFFIELD UNITED: Blades next generation given boost by Academy duo’s progress

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SHEFFIELD United academy chief John Pemberton last night revealed how the emergence of Joe Ironside and Callum McFadzean has inspired Bramall Lane’s next generation of young talent.

Both players featured regularly at first team level throughout pre-season with McFadzean making his senior debut during the Capital One Cup tie with Burton Albion four days ago.

Pemberton, speaking ahead of this weekend’s opening round of FA Premier Academy League fixtures, said: “It’s been such a powerful message for the rest of the lads to watch their progress.

“It’s a reminder to them that, if they do their jobs right, stay focused and work hard, then they are not a million miles away.”

United’s under-16’s and under-18’s entertain Coventry City at Shirecliffe on Saturday (kick-off 11.30am) with the new under-21 development squad travelling to the Midlands on Monday.

“You are only allowed a small number of over-age players in the development squad and so a lot of the lads might end up playing a lot of games,” Pemberton said. “So we’ll have to monitor things closely.”