Sheffield Wednesday starlet’s ‘surprise’ international call-up – Owl youngster excited for preseason return

Young Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper, Pierce Charles, says that his call-up for the Northern Ireland U19s came as a surprise.

Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:00 pm

The 16-year-old shot-stopper, who is not yet eligible for a professional deal at Wednesday, was drafted into the age group above for two friendly games against Malta this month, at got off to the perfect start as he kept a clean sheet in a 6-0 win in Ta' Qali.

Charles sat out the second game – a 2-1 win – as another young goalkeeper was given a shot, but the talented teenager admits that being part of the camp, and getting his debut at U19 level, was a huge boost for him.

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“It was good!” he told the club’s official website. “I didn’t have the most to do in the game, I had a couple of saves and crosses to take, it was mainly just distribution. But to keep a clean sheet and win 6-0… It was a very comfortable win for the team and it boosts my confidence.

“I was on standby for the previous U19s games, but I didn’t expect an actual call-up to the year above, so it was a good surprise when I got it! I got an email from Northern Ireland saying I was selected and it was a big boost and a reward for everything last season.”

He went on to say, “It was a new experience, playing abroad for your country against teams that you haven’t played against. It’s good because the lads welcome you very well and they are a great bunch, so being around them helps.

Pierce Charles is a highly-rated youngster at Sheffield Wednesday.

“I wasn’t expecting to start the first game, but I put in plenty of graft in the sessions beforehand and that helped my chances… The biggest difference is the physicality of the players and obviously the speed is a lot quicker, but getting used to that improves you as a player.”

Having spent plenty of time around the senior setup in 2021/22, Charles will be hoping for a chance to do the same in the upcoming campaign, but for now he’ll be taking a bit of time to himself before the Owls do return in a week or so.

“All the work I’ve put in during the season is being rewarded”, he added. “And I have to keep working and hopefully get my rewards in the future and more achievements… I’ve got a bit of time to switch off now, a week-long holiday is good to recover the body and the mind.

“I will still be keeping on top of my fitness because we have a big season ahead, I can’t wait to be back in for preseason and seeing all the lads again.”

Charles will battle it out with another young talent, Jack Hall, 17, who has represented England at youth level, with the two teenagers hoping to kick on in 2022/23 as they play for both the U18s and U23s in S6.

Both spent time with Wednesday’s first team last season, and there’s a chance they could play a part in preseason with the seniors this summer.