Sheffield Wednesday in Portugal: Owls youngster keen to prove a point to boss Steve Bruce in pre-season

Left-sided player Matt Penney is desperate to prove his worth to Owls manager Steve Bruce this summer.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 12:29 pm
Morgan Fox and Matt Penney are put through their paces in training in Portugal

Penney, who came through Wednesday's academy system, is still waiting to make his first appearance under Bruce.

But the precociously talented youngster was part of the Owls squad that travelled to Portugal earlier this week. Penney and company are currently being put through their paces in the soaring Algarve heat.

Penney working on his dribbling skills in Portugal

Speaking exclusively to The Star, Penney said: "Pre-season is going to be massive for me. 

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"I have to show what I am capable of in training and in the games. If I get a good pre-season under my belt, that will set me up well for the challenges ahead.

"But I am confident in myself. I know what I can do and I just want to help the team. I am going to work hard and try my best.

"My aim is to play and I want to play as many games as I possibly can and show the fans and the gaffer what I can do."

The 21-year-old burst on to the scene under Jos Luhukay last season, making 17 appearances before the turn of the year. His eye-catching displays prompted Wednesday to tie him down to a new contract.

"For me personally, the first half of the season was really good," said Penney. "It was big for me to break into the team and I started well."

But Penney's form dipped and he lost his place in the starting line-up to Morgan Fox. 

Things got even worse for Penney in the New Year when he dislocated his shoulder in training. He went under the knife and the knock kept him out of action for three months.

Penney admitted: "It was very frustrating. I hurt my shoulder in training training; it was a bit of a freak incident.

"As soon as I knew I had to have an operation, I knew I was going to struggle to get back (for the end of the season).

"I have never had anything like that before. I probably didn't do anything for two to three weeks.

"I had a sling on for six weeks after the op but eventually I started to do some gym work. "But I am fully fit now and I can't wait to start this season."

It is a big year for Penney as his contract expires at the end of the 2019/20 season.

He said: "We have got a new gaffer so hopefully I can kick on. It's a fresh start for me. I need to prove myself and I want to play as much as I can."