Liam loan spell aids his Owls progress

Liam Palmer plays a pass at Stockport, watched by David Perkins
Liam Palmer plays a pass at Stockport, watched by David Perkins
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Dave Jones believes that Liam Palmer is showing the benefits of his season on loan at Tranmere.

The Wednesday midfield player left Hillsborough as a youngster in need of League experience.

He has returned as a 21-year-old who made a further 43 League appearances in 2012-13.

Jones feels that he is more battle-hardened and that other young Owls players can benefit from a similar spell elsewhere.

Palmer slotted back into the Owls’ scheme of things by playing in the game at Stockport on Tuesday.

Jones says: “Liam played 40-odd games for Tranmere and has had a season of regular league football.

“That’s what it takes sometimes to help a young player progress. Liam has benefited from it.

“I’ll be doing the same with one or two other players, so they gain from the experience of League football. That can be important.”

Other players to go out on loan last season included Danny Mayor, to Southend; Paul Corry, to Tranmere; and Caolan Lavery, to Southend.

Palmer’s progress was recognised last season when the Owls gave him a new two-and-a-half-year contract, in January, in the middle of his loan spell at Prenton Park.

He played a full game in the Rodger Wylde testimonial on Tuesday, starting on the left side side of midfield, and moving to right back after Lewis Buxton was taken off at half time.

It was maybe another demonstration of Palmer’s versatility - and Jones thinks that perhaps right-side midfield will be his best position.

The Owls manager also has Rhys McCabe, Corry, Jose Semedo, Giles Coke and David Prutton available for midfield places, and is looking to bring in another centre-midfield man after the exit of Chris Lines.

Jones will make broad use of his squad today at Scunthorpe (kick-off 3pm), and Jermaine Johnson is likely to play for some part of the game.

It will be his first pre-season action with the club after he was given extra time off because of his busy summer with Jamaica.

The match is an important one for former Wednesday players Etienne Esajas and Sean McAllister.

They are on trial at Scunthorpe and hoping that they will be signed by the Iron’s ex-Owls boss, Brian Laws.

Laws said: “There’s still a lot of talking to do but the players accept the situation – that they’ve got to show us what they’re capable of. Can they add to the team?”