Sheffield Wednesday: Owls kids to go out on loan deals

Taylor McKenzie, right, could leave Hillsborough on a temporary basis
Taylor McKenzie, right, could leave Hillsborough on a temporary basis
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Manager Dave Jones wants to send some of Sheffield Wednesday’s brightest young players out on loan this season.

Caolan Lavery and Rafael Floro have featured in the first-team squad in recent weeks but are unlikely to be utilised on a regular basis when Jones has a fully-fit squad to choose from.

The Wednesday chief has indicated that he will offer Lavery, Floro, centre-back Taylor McKenzie, central midfielder Ayo Obileye and Emmanuel Dieseruvwe the opportunity to gain first-team experience elsewhere. He reckons spells away from Hillsborough will hugely benefit his young starlets.

Jones said: “Caolan needs to go and play. He went on loan to Southend last season. Unfortunately he pulled his hamstring and we had to pull him back. He and one or two others need to go out and get that experience, like we did with Ross Barkley when we brought in a quality player.

“We will start to look, probably over the next few weeks, to get one or two of the kids out to toughen them up.

“The prime example to us is Liam Palmer. He’s come back with 40-odd games under his belt, a year older, a year more experienced, after a year of being bumped and boshed about in professional football instead of playing just in his own age-group at Under 21 level.

“It’s been fantastic for him. If there’s anybody in this club who is looking for someone who has been helped by going out, then he’s one. The football world is littered with that but when you’ve got one in your club its’s something to say it works.

“He’s come back, certainly got the bit between his teeth, looks more confident, stronger and quicker, and now we know we’ve got a player.”

Lavery, who bagged a double in the development squad’s 3-2 victory over Coventry City last week, has made two substitute appearances at senior level while Floro started in the defeats to Rotherham United and Burnley.

“If you’ve got players who need to play, it [the loan system] is a good way of doing it,” said Jones. “The fans had a small taste of young Dawesy (Charlie Dawes), who got a little run-out at Chesterfield.

“What we’ve decided is that anybody in that 16 to 18 group who we feel is pushing on, then we’ll push them into the under 21s; if they can’t handle it, then they’ve got the safety net of going back down.

“But we’re pushing them all the time, and the demands on the players at the moment are vast, because that’s how it should be.”