Lee Bullen opens up on ‘fantastic’ Darren Moore’s role within Sheffield Wednesday’s youth

Lee Bullen has heaped praise on Sheffield Wednesday manager, Darren Moore, and says that he’s very hands on within the youth setup at the club.
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Moore is currently in the process of overseeing a rebuild at Hillsborough on the back of relegation into League One and the exit of a number of senior players at the end of their respective contracts.

One thing the Owls boss has said is that a number of youngsters will get their chance to impress during preseason as he weighs up which of them are potentially ready for a step up into regular first team football, and it’s thought that he was very much involved with the decisions made in terms of which U23 and U18 players were offered new contracts.

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Lee Bullen who oversaw a solid end to the season for Wednesday’s U23s, admits that he’s really enjoyed working with Moore so far, and praised him for his hands on approach after he ‘earned his stripes’ on the way to his current job.

“It’s been great,” ‘Bully’ told The Star. “Steve Bruce did it when we released players at a lower level, and Darren has been very similar.

“But with Darren, he has earned his stripes, because he’s worked through the system… He’s been a loans manager, so he understand the principle of what exposure can bring to it. He’s been in the academy, he’s worked with young players, and he really is a man that - if they’re good enough - they’ll get their opportunity at the club.

“I think he’s a good appointment, and I really hope that he gets the opportunity to do what he needs to do.”

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore watches over proceedings at Middlewood Road.Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore watches over proceedings at Middlewood Road.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore watches over proceedings at Middlewood Road.
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And in terms of his own working relationship with the Wednesday boss, Bullen went on to say, “It’s been absolutely fantastic… You never know in this game, especially when your football club goes down a league, whether changes could be afoot.

“There were changes last season, which wasn’t a surprise because we always thought Garry (Monk) would bring in his own people -a it was just the timing of it two or three days before preseason.”

So could there be a few more faces in the U23 setup next season as their manager looks to plan ahead?

Southampton’s soon-to-be out-of-contract defender, David Agbontohoma, who is also wanted by Stoke City, has been offered a contract, but Bullen says there are a few more who could potentially be on the cards ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

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“At the moment we’re preparing, we’re trying to recruit one or two bodies for the U23s, but that’ll be led by Darren because he wants to be really hands on with that.

“We’ve had a look at a couple of trialists who we might invite back in for preseason to have another look at them. We’ve looked at David twice and were quite taken with him.”

Bullen’s U23s finished the season on a five-game unbeaten run, and lost only four of their final 14 games in the Professional Development League North as a number of previous U18s stepped up into his ranks prior to signing their first professional deals at the club.

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