Scotland Euro 2020 squad heartache for Sheffield Wednesday pair can be a painful plus ahead of League One campaign
Everyone connected to Sheffield Wednesday would have been proud to watch either Liam Palmer or Callum Paterson represent the Owls for Scotland at this summer’s European Championships.
But the announcement of Steve Clarke’s squad has come and gone with neither name included, meaning Wednesday will have no representation at the long-awaited competition.
Both players were among the most consistent Wednesday players in a torrid 2020/21 season that saw them tumble out of the Championship.
Paterson, who has 17 caps and played in a number of positions throughout the season, contributed 15 direct goal contributions in a largely goal-shy Owls side. The news will come as a particular shock to eight-cap Palmer, who played a near-constant role in Scotland’s qualifying campaign and enjoyed a stellar second half to Wednesday’s season.
Both players have spoken of their pride in representing the Tartan Army and described selection for the tournament as a ‘career pinnacle’. Though there have been several close calls, Tartan Army have not been to a major finals since the 1998 World Cup.
While no Owls fan would have decried either player what would have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, there could prove to be a silver lining to the situation given the gruelling fixture schedule that awaits the side following relegation to League One.
The Euros come straight off the back of a manic coronavirus-impacted fixture schedule that saw the back end of the 2019/20 season effectively fused together with last season, with only a few weeks break between.
And while the season won’t be quite as congested, relegation to the third tier means Wednesday will compete in three cup competitions next season, including the Papa John’s Trophy, meaning their load will likely be even weightier.
With 86 appearances between them last season – Paterson played in 45 matches and Palmer 41 – it could well be that the pair are well due for a restful summer ahead of what looks set to be another whirlwind campaign.
Both players are among the first teamers whose contracted stay at Hillsborough goes beyond this summer and are two of the more important performers.