Sheffield Wednesday: Matt Penney … The future’s bright for the Owls’ Goosebump Kid

Matt Penney
Matt Penney

Sheffield Wednesday mean so much to Matt Penney that he had goosebumps when he ran out at Hillsborough to make his first senior start.

Matt Penney means so much to Jos Luhukay that the Owls manager is predicting the Academy kid could be the club's future at left-back.

In action against Ipswich

In action against Ipswich

Penney has been part of the youth set-up since he was at primary school. He tried to treat his home debut against Millwall last Wednesday like any other game but admitted the sense of honour got to him.

Wednesday won that contest 2-1 and followed up on Saturday with a win by a similar margin against Ipswich Town to really kick-start their Championship season.

The 20-year-old played both games and looked totally at home in the Championship.

"The left-back position is not an easy position, but he does it very well in the last two games," said Luhukay.

"He is a player we have a future with and we hope in the next weeks and months he makes a good progression and brings stability to the position."

Premier League Wolves arrive at Hillsborough tomorrow night for a Carabao Cup second-round tie. Penney may or may not feature as Luhukay shuffles his pack but is already pencilled in for Saturday's league encounter at Reading.

Penney is one of the prospects to benefit as Luhukay puts his trust in youth, and wasted loan spells at Bradford City and Mansfield Town suddenly seem long in the past.

"The young players have given the squad a lift," Luhukay said.  You could see that last Wednesday and last Saturday. A good example is Matt. 

"He was in no-man's land last season. He had been a long time at Sheffield Wednesday but hadn't had chances. Now he is taking his chance with both hands and we are very happy about that. 

"Matt went out two times on loan and he didn't play. He wasn't a first-team player and he wasn't even in the squad. He was not happy, I think. He came back to us in the summer and we try to help him develop himself. You have seen what's happened."

Wolves head to S6 after holding champions Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in the league at the weekend, although they are likely to field a much-changed side against the Owls.

"It is important to try to build on the momentum of the last two wins," Luhukay said. "It is a third game at home in a week and we will try to take it further. 

"Wolves are a fantastic team. I have seen their game against Manchester City and they make a very good game against maybe the best team in the Premier League. It is a tough test for us but also a good challenge."

His sentiments were echoed by attacking midfielder Adam Reach who said: "A cup run would be nice for the fans and players. Hopefully we get through Wolves and get another Premier League team. 

"I am sure that there will be changes for Tuesday and everyone will be raring to go. The lads who have not had a chance in the last couple of matches will be looking to put in a strong performance to get selected for the Reading game."

Penney has already delivered strong performances, leaving Luhukay, who has made nurturing young talent a priority since his January appointment, a satisfied man.

"Matt was maybe not good enough in the last season or the season before, but I know not the reasons," the manger said. "Now we are very happy and I think Matt is also happy."

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