Sheffield Wednesday consider trend-bucking under-21s approach - question marks over defender

A strong start to Sheffield Wednesday’s season at under-21 level could be set to continue, with a trend-bucking new approach to loans policy understood to have been considered.
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Owls second string sides have not had the best record in recent seasons, with the bosses Lee Bullen and Neil Thompson seeing most of their more senior starlets leaving on loan at stages throughout the season.

EFL sides are permitted to loan players out to non-league clubs outside of the transfer window.

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But indications are at this stage that, while there could be exceptions, Wednesday will seek to keep a closer bulk of their younger players in-house to undertake development with the under-21s and build a stronger team.

It would represent a shift to a more continental approach to the development of young players.

The Star asked first team manager Xisco whether the likes of Ciaran Brennan, Rio Shipston or Jay Glover could be moved out to EFL clubs ahead of the September 1 deadline, with the Spaniard suggesting it wasn’t a direct priority amid a vast first team recruitment push.

Aged 23, Brennan in particular is a player who could be seen as worthy of a senior loan having already spent time climbing the ladder with Gainsborough Trinity, Notts County and Swindon Town in recent campaigns.

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The Republic of Ireland youth international has 18 senior Wednesday appearances under his belt but was not included in their EFL registration list and so will not be eligible to play for the Owls.

In what is usually a tightly-knit second string squad, the last campaign saw Brennan and Ryan Galvin leave on long-term spells with Swindon and Maidstone United respectively.

Retained youngsters Glover and Luke Jackson were farmed out for experience in two separate loan spells, while Paulo Aguas, Will Trueman and David Agbonotohoma left Middlewood Road at the turn of the year.

Wednesday’s under-23s - youth football has since been realigned as an under-21 set-up - finished 10 points adrift of the bottom of the table last season, winning just five of their 28 matches.

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But things have started brighter this time out, with the Owlets unbeaten after four games; winning once and drawing three times.

They welcome their Charlton Athletic counterparts to Hillsborough on Friday.