Former Sheffield Wednesday man a doubt for Harrogate Town pre-season clash as Owls fans sell out again

The second match of Sheffield Wednesday’s pre-season will take place on Friday evening at Harrogate Town as the Owls continue to ramp up their preparations for the 2022/23 season.

Darren Moore’s side drew 0-0 with Alfreton Town on Saturday in a breezy curtain-raising run-out.

And things will kick up a touch as they make the trip to North Yorkshire for a clash against League Two opposition in front of a sold-out away end.

Former Wednesday academy man and lifelong Owls supporter Simon Weaver is Harrogate manager and is looking forward to the clash.

Former Sheffield Wednesday academy graduate Simon Weaver will welcome his old club to Harrogate Town on Friday.

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Sheffield Wednesday will be a huge test,” he said. “They were right up there in the league last season and almost got promoted via the playoffs. It’ll be good to welcome them, who are a huge club with rich history. It should be a good occasion.

“Everyone has been without football for a little while now so I’m sure the appetite is there and it’ll be a nice evening for a good game of football.”

Among the Town players touch and go for the match is another Owls academy graduate Rory McArdle.

Weaver said: “The injured lads are progressing at different rates. We’re hoping for Falks (Josh Falkingham) after the first couple of games of the season, Will Smith will be back around Christmas time but is making great progress and is working really hard. Rory McArdle should hopefully be back sooner rather than later in pre-season.

“It is important we test ourselves against quality opposition but pre-season can be a funny one.

“You can have a fantastic pre-season but not necessarily take that forward into the actual season but what’s important - with all the injuries we had last year - is to take good care of the lads, get them as fit as possible and try get them through pre-season unscathed.”

Wednesday returned a clean bill of health from an Alfreton run-out in which senior outfield players played 45 minutes apiece.

New faces Will Vaulks and David Stockdale may make their first appearances in Wednesday colours. The squad travel to Portugal for a week-long warm weather training camp on Saturday during which they will take on Bournemouth before returning for matches against Ray Vallecano and Wigan Athletic.