Former Sheffield Wednesday and West Brom favourite reveals 'huge factor' when it comes to Darren Moore transfer targets
Sheffield Wednesday and Darren Moore will attract good, young players to the club despite their drop in divisional status.
That’s according to former Owl and Premier League star Chris Brunt, a former player of Moore’s who himself started his senior football career at Hillsborough after release from Middlesbrough.
The Owls have been shrouded in off-field complications over the past few months, prompting fears players could be ‘put off’ a Hillsborough switch. The club are operating under the terms of a transfer embargo but can sign players on free transfers or on no-fee loan terms.
Brunt spent three years at S6 and believes the opportunity to play at Hillsborough, as well as Moore’s reputation for developing talented youngsters, is one that can attract young players from higher levels.
“That's one of the biggest things,” he told The Star in the weeks after his retirement. “You drive up to the ground, see the stadium, it's awesome. The training ground hasn't changed since I got there, it's still a little bit small for that level of football, but the stadium is a massive pull.
“You can't walk down to Hillsborough and not have that wow factor, that proper English football stadium feel. That'll be a huge factor for a lot of players at that level.
“But when you drop down like they have, you become a really big fish at that level and it kind of inspires the other teams to do well. It's a double-edged sword at times.”
Asked whether the experience of going from Middlesbrough’s youth team straight into the pressure of League One football with Wednesday intimidated him, the 65-cap former Northern Ireland man suggested how that is dealt with is down to the individual.
“Generally I'm pretty laid back,” he said. “All through my career I never got overly nervous before games and I loved it.
“Going out there and playing in front of a crowd, which I'd never really done before at any level, to go there on a Saturday afternoon at three o'clock, you feel how much it matters.
“With all due respect, results at youth team level don't really matter, but the first team stuff there are careers, reputations, people's jobs as well. It means a lot more. I loved it.”