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Sheffield Wednesday: Highly-rated Joe Wildsmith reveals his Owls ambition

Joe Wildsmith is looking to push on next season
Joe Wildsmith is looking to push on next season
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Wednesday endured a disappointing campaign on the whole - but Joe Wildsmith earned plenty of plaudits for his performances in between the sticks.

A groin injury to Keiren Westwood opened the door ajar for the 22-year-old and he made the most of his opportunity to play at first-team level.

There was the odd slip up along the way. Wildsmith had off days in defeats to Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers.

But it was largely a positive year on a personal note for Wildsmith.

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The academy graduate made 29 appearances in the Owls’ mid-table finish. Wildsmith recorded eight clean sheets and helped Wednesday stay well clear of relegation trouble.

“It has been a big year for me,” he told The Star. “I’ve played a lot of games, which has been great.

“It’s the most I’ve played consecutively and the most I’ve had in a season – and I feel as though I’ve really benefited from it.

“It’s rubbish what happened to Keiren [Westwood] and I do wish him a really speedy recovery.

“But his injury gave me that chance and I’d like to think I’ve done enough to prove myself.

“Hopefully next year I can push on and it could be another good year and a successful one.”

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Wildsmith was rested for the final three fixtures as manager Jos Luhukay gave Cameron Dawson a chance to prove his credentials and build up his Championship experience.

With Dawson impressing and Westwood on the mend, Wednesday are spoilt for choice in goal.

But Wildsmith is looking forward to competing with Dawson and Westwood for the number one jersey.

“I just want to play as many games as I can next season, that’s what every player wants,” said Wildsmith, who has previously enjoyed loan spells at Alfreton Town and Barnsley.

“If that’s the case and I’m playing games, then great, but that’s down to the gaffer and I’ll always respect his decision. I just hope I’ve done enough this season to be in thoughts for moving forward next season.”

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