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Sheffield Wednesday: Jos Luhukay gets first chance to work with key trio as Owls return to pre-season training

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Experienced trio Kieran Lee, Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper joined in the first session of pre-season training as the Owls kicked off their preparations for the 2018/19 campaign.

Lee, Fletcher and Hooper were among Wednesday’s first-team players who reported back for pre-season yesterday and are understood to have taken part in a light workout.

Owls Steven Fletcher with Reading's Paul McShane....Pic Steve Ellis

Owls Steven Fletcher with Reading's Paul McShane....Pic Steve Ellis

It is the first time Owls boss Jos Luhukay has worked with the trio since taking over the reins.

Midfield dynamo Lee, 30, and strikers Fletcher, 31, and Hooper, 30, have not played this calendar year due to injury. Lee, Fletcher and Hooper spent months on the sidelines with hip, knee and groin problems respectively.

Their knowledge and quality in the final third was sorely missed as Wednesday finished 15th in the rankings.

The team headed to the North West of England to begin a five-day training camp yesterday afternoon. After the annual community event Owls on the Park on Sunday, it is understood Luhukay’s side will then switch to a different base next week.

Wednesday’s first friendly is scheduled to take place at Lincoln City on Friday July 13, kick-off 7:30pm. The Owls have already sold-out their 1,908 ticket allocation for the clash at Sincil Bank.

After facing Dutch club NAC Breda in a behind-closed-doors match on Saturday July 21, Wednesday’s second warm-up fixture is against Mansfield Town on Tuesday, July 24.

Their showpiece home friendly with top Spanish outfit Villarreal CF is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 28, a week before their league curtain-raiser at Wigan Athletic. Meanwhile, young striker Preslav Borukov has penned a two-year contract with Wednesday.

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The 18-year-old has established himself as a key figure in the development squad.

Borukov, previously of PFC Levski Sofia, said: “I’m really happy and I’ve worked really hard for the two years in my scholarship.

“I’m happy to be a professional footballer at Sheffield Wednesday. My target now is to reach the first team.”