‘Go and stake a claim’ for first team, urges Sheffield Wednesday coach

Neil Thompson, Owls' development coach.
Neil Thompson, Owls' development coach.
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The gauntlet has been laid down to Wednesday’s youngsters to go and impose themselves next season.

A clutch of players made the step up in 2017/18 including Jordan Thorniley, Connor O’Grady and Frederik Nielsen.

Owls' academy players are being urged to follow the lead set by the likes of Jordan Thorniley and Joe Wildsmith.

Owls' academy players are being urged to follow the lead set by the likes of Jordan Thorniley and Joe Wildsmith.

Development coach Neil Thompson, in charge of the club’s under-23s, hopes next season will see a similar pattern emerge.

He hopes players can either win a call-up to the first team at Hillsborough under manager Jos Luhukay or get valuable playing time with a loan spell elsewhere.

“There is an opportunity but the players have got to be right for it,” Thompson said.

READ: The seven starlets who made the breakthrough at Hillsborough last season
“Is there any opportunity for some of them to go and progress, go out on loan or get involved in first team training?

“That should be their motivation.”

Last season saw the under-18s finish third in their respective league whilst the under-23s narrowly missed out on retaining their PDL2 North crown.

Thompson says the camaraderie within the youth section is good and hopes the players are ready to kick on for pre-season.

He added: “They had a great season but they will reflect on what might have been.

“As a group they’re great to work with, from the 23s right down to the 18s because we all mix together.

“They’ve got a few weeks off but they need to come back ready at the start of pre-season.”

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