SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Ex-Preston man Dean Ramsdale is new youth chief

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday have appointed former Preston director of youth Dean Ramsdale as their new academy chief.

He starts work officially on Monday and succeeds Sean McAuley, who quit in the summer to become assistant head coach at US outfit Portland Timbers.

Owls manager Dave Jones said: “Dean has a wealth of experience at this level; he has produced some really good kids.

“Everybody here is really looking forward to working with him.”

The Owls’ recent signing from Preston, winger Danny Mayor, was one of around a dozen young players who came through the youth system to break into the Deepdale first-team squad.

Ramsdale joined the Lilywhites from Burnley in 2006 but left when long-serving player Graham Alexander was put in charge of youth affairs.

Jones sees the production of young players as important - hence this season’s establishment of a Hillsborough “development squad”.

But the Owls manager also believes that anyone in that up-and-coming group can be a first-team player as well, if he is good enough.

He places Rhys McCabe firmly in that bracket, and says of recent signing Paul Corry: Physically he’s not ready for it yet, but he will be pushing pretty soon.”