Joe Wildsmith reveals why he turned down Sheffield Wednesday offer to join Derby County

Former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith has revealed his reasons for leaving Sheffield Wednesday after a 14-year stay at the club.
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The former England youth international stopper, who was confirmed to be leaving Hillsborough last month and whose switch to League One rivals Derby County was confirmed over the weekend, looks set to take the number one spot at Pride Park.

Wildsmith was offered a new deal to stay at S6 and challenge David Stockdale and Cameron Dawson for minutes.

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And speaking to the in-house media team at Derby as part of his unveiling, he said: “I’m 26 and had been at Sheffield Wednesday since I was 12 years old and you are going into a place where you’ve gone into work that long with the same four walls.

Ex-Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith has joined Derby County.Ex-Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith has joined Derby County.
Ex-Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith has joined Derby County.

“I just felt like I needed a different challenge and I’ve got that in signing for Derby. I feel like the opportunity here is massive and that is one of the reasons for signing.

“The new challenge and getting out of my comfort zone is something brand new to me and I just feel like I can thrive under that new feeling and kick on.”

Wildsmith also reflected on his time at Wednesday, which saw him make 89 senior appearances for the club and battle the likes of Keiren Westwood and Dawson for ascendancy between the sticks.

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“My career has been mixed so far and that is due to different circumstance whether that be injuries or different managers coming in,” he said.

“Everyone has different opinions and that’s the journey I’ve been on and I take what I can from that in experiences and hopefully I can use that as motivation for wanting and striving to get better and establishing myself as a number one goalkeeper.

“I feel the opportunity here is for me to do that and that was one of the main reasons for signing here, along with the club’s ambitions and working with Jason Pearcey and the group of lads here.

“I feel there is a great opportunity for a promotion push and the style of football is attractive. It ticks all the boxes and it’s definitely an exciting time.”