Sheffield Wednesday boss explains surprise inclusion - likens talented teen to George Byers

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Rio Shipston is enjoying an exciting period in his young Sheffield Wednesday career at this point in time.

The teenager, who recently celebrated his 18th birthday, is currently in talks regarding his first professional deal with the Owls, and recently got the chance to make his senior debut in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Since that debut, Shipston has gone on to make the matchday squad for games in both the Carabao Cup and League One, with Darren Moore saying that his time spent with the first team is aiding his development.

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When asked why he was named on the bench ahead of senior figures against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, the Owls boss explained that it is all part of their plan for him.

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“It’s about where he’s at,” he said. “And what he’s been doing with the U18s. We’ll see him perform here on Monday night against Derby County in the FA Youth Cup game, but such has been his progression that he’s been in and around the first team.

“He was involved today for a league game, and we have to keep nurturing our own and get them into the team. There’s him, Cadz (Bailey Cadamarteri), and Leojo (Davidson) just to name a few that are knocking on the door, and the message to them is that the opportunity is there.”

Moore went on to name tenacious midfielder, George Byers, as the one that the teenager most resembles, adding that a recent growth spurt has helped him along when it comes to moving up the ranks.

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Sheffield Wednesday's Rio Shipston (middle) is climbing up the ranks. (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)Sheffield Wednesday's Rio Shipston (middle) is climbing up the ranks. (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)
Sheffield Wednesday's Rio Shipston (middle) is climbing up the ranks. (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

“He’s a ball player, he’s in the mould – I think – as a George Byers, that’s the best way I can describe him to the supporters. His game play is like George, where he lets the ball do the talking. He sees pictures, has a wonderful pass in him and understands the game.

“As a club we’ve looked at him as he’s grown in stature over he last six months, he’s had a growth spurt, but and because he’s developing rapidly I think the first team environment is testing him more. With his decision-making, speed of play, all those things.”

Shipston is set to start this evening against Derby as the Owls look to book their spot in the next round of the Youth Cup.