Sheffield Wednesday: Owls to play Rangers

Happy 21st birthday in store for  former Rangers player Rhys McCabe in July
Happy 21st birthday in store for former Rangers player Rhys McCabe in July
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Sheffield Wednesday are to play Scottish giants Rangers in a showpiece pre-season friendly at Hillsborough.

The match will take place on Wednesday, July 24, kick-off 7.45pm, and will be the Owls’ sole home warm=up for the new season.

Wednesday and Rangers today both confirmed the date officially.

The Owls expect a following of thousands from Scotland, and it will be a special affair for midfield player Rhys McCabe.

Not only are Rangers the club that he left to join Wednesday amid some controversy but also the game will fall on his 21st birthday.

“Good timing on my birthday,” he has said on Twitter.

McCabe will also be hoping to use the pre-season programme to force his way into the side for the Championship kick-off on August 3.

He missed out on a full pre-season last year because of the formalities surrounding his move.

He opted not to transfer his Ibrox contract to the new Rangers company and signed for Wednesday instead. The clubs later agreed on a compensation deal.

McCabe tasted Championship action earlier than Dave Jones had expected, when the midfield department was hit by injury. Athough he did not hold down a regular place the young Scot is confident of progress next season.

Rangers began life in the Scottish Third Division after their financial crisis and rebirth.

They won the title last season by a margin of 24 points and with an average attendance of 45,744.

The Owls’ final senior warm-up for the new season will be at Chesterfield on Saturday, July 27 (3pm) - a week before the league season starts.

They also play away to Brian Laws’ Scunthorpe side on Saturday, July 13 (3pm), before leaving for a week in Portugal.

While on the Algarve, the Owls will play two games, including one against newly-promoted Hull on July 20.

Wednesday are also sending the squad to Stockport on Tuesday, July 9, for a testimonial in support of County physio and former Hillsborough star Rodger Wylde, who worked with Dave Jones at Edgeley Park.

The Football League season’s start of August 3 next season will be unusually early; the clubs voted for this as a means of inserting an extra Saturday game into the programme.

The fixtures will be announced on June 19, two days after the draw for the first round of the Capital One Cup; ties will be played in the midweek that follows the first league matches.

The three league play-off finals at Wembley are pencilled in for May 24, 25 and 26.