Keiren Westwood training with Sheffield Wednesday's League One rivals as he plots comeback

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Sheffield Wednesday modern icon Keiren Westwood is plotting a comeback to professional football and is spending time training with one of their League One rivals, he has revealed.

The 37-year-old, who has maintained his determination to find a new club since he left the Owls in the summer, made a heroes return to Hillsborough on Tuesday evening while enjoying a co-commentary stint during their 3-0 win over Sunderland.

Westwood had a handful of irons in the fire but none came to fruition as he continues to look for the right option.

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The wait for the right opportunity goes on and revealed he has been keeping in shape with the help of Wednesday’s League One rivals Crewe Alexandra.

“I’m really thankful to Crewe, the manager and all the staff there,” he said. “I’ve known the goalkeeper coach since I was 19 when I was at Carlisle, Fred Barber.

“A club was interested in me in the summer and unfortunately it didn’t really work out so Fred said to go and train at Crewe.

“I said I wasn’t sure because of Covid and stuff. He said they were sorted for all that and that I’d be great for the young ones and that. Their number one is Will Jääskeläinen.

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“He told me to come in and help out as much as I can, help out and show the standards of what he needs to do.

Former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood is training with Crewe Alexandra.Former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood is training with Crewe Alexandra.
Former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood is training with Crewe Alexandra.

“It’s been brilliant and I’ve really, really enjoyed it.”

Westwood is based in the North West with his young family and though he appreciates the Football League has a different financial landscape post-coronavirus, is confident he’ll find a new club as the season goes on.

The two-time Owls player of the year and former Republic of Ireland keeper is now looking towards winter and the January transfer window when clubs will have the option to move existing goalkeepers on.

“I do feel like I can still do the job,” he said. “I’m really, really fit training with Crewe. If anybody knows Fred Barber and the way he works they know I’m fit because he works ridiculously hard – it’s very intense and very rewarding. It keeps me feeling young!

“Would I like to be at a club? Yes.”

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Looking back on his seven-year stint with Wednesday, Westwood expressed regret at how it ended – with relegation from the Championship – but detailed his pride and continuing support for the club.

“I’ve got nothing but good memories of Wednesday to be honest,” he said. “There were a few little bumps in the road but I had a fantastic time here.

“I wish I was playing tonight to be honest! I’m looking down at the pitch ahead of such a huge game. I’d be thriving for a game like today.

“I don’t think the club can look back now, they’ve got to move forward and look at the positives.

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“It’s still a huge football club, the numbers are still coming to the stadium, they still want to support the lads and the club wants to be promoted.

“The thing is, so does everybody else and it’s all been geared up towards that. They’ve got a really good squad, a squad that should be competing right up the top end of the table and hopefully they can.”