Sheffield Wednesday talent hails group ‘personality’ as young Owls left waiting on Chelsea result

Sheffield Wednesday’s U18s should have found out this evening whether it’d be Chelsea or Cambridge United in the next round of the FA Youth Cup – now they’ll have to wait.
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Mackenzie Maltby, who captained Andy Holdsworth’s side as they saw off Leicester City with an impressive 3-2 victory in the last round, knows all about this tournament, with the 18-year-old having also excelled in last year’s edition.

He helped them beat famed academy, Southampton, in that edition, so will make sure they’re all up for the challenge come what may.

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Like so many of his teammates, the talented teenager has been with the Owls since the age of seven, and he’s struck up a strong partnership at the back especially alongside Josh Chapman and Cian Flannery.

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“We are a close bunch of lads,” he told The Star. “It’s been that back three since the start of the season, so we’ve had a lot of time to play together and adapt to different playing styles. So we talk well, rotate well, and that’s what helps us.”

Progression in the Youth Cup is the current goal, but the carrot dangling at the end of the rope is the chance to sign a professional contract – something that the likes of Bailey Cadamarteri, Rio Shipston, Sean Fusire and Pierce Charles have already done.

Maltby – a teen with Wednesday ‘in his blood’ – admits that it’s something everyone else is aiming for, but insisted that seeing his teammates – and childhood friends – flourish is something that everybody revels in.

Mackenzie Maltby has been a key performer in Sheffield Wednesday's FA Youth Cup run.Mackenzie Maltby has been a key performer in Sheffield Wednesday's FA Youth Cup run.
Mackenzie Maltby has been a key performer in Sheffield Wednesday's FA Youth Cup run.
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“All the boys are proud of the lads who have been offered professional deals,” he went on to say. “And it just gives everyone else something to fight for. They’re all trying their best.

“It doesn’t change their personalities, they’re the same as they always were, so it just drives us to be better. And as you’ve seen, the ones without pro contacts have fought the same as the lads that do. It’s all about the personality of the boys.”

Instead of tonight, Cambridge U18s will now take on the Blues on January 25th due to damage at Abbey Road, but for the young Owls it just gives them a little bit longer to focus on their league campaign.

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