Sheffield Wednesday: Why unfamiliar faces have been spotted in Owls warm-ups in recent weeks

Eagle-eyed Sheffield Wednesday supporters will have spotted a slightly unfamiliar face or two in the warm-ups of the Owls’ last couple of matches.

Friday, 18th March 2022, 4:30 pm

Out before the rest of the squad, goalkeepers Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Joe Wildsmith have been flanked with a fresh face, a theme that has continued from points last season.

Pierce Charles took part in the pre-match duties ahead of Saturday’s win over Cambridge, while Josh Render was present ahead of the Accrington clash.

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Sheffield Wednesday youngster Pierce Charles has spent time training with the first team.

And it has been explained by Wednesday boss Darren Moore that the move is part of a forward-thinking effort to expose a number of the club’s most promising youngsters to life in the first team.

Both youngsters were seen talking at length to their senior counterparts and assisted goalkeeper coach Adriano Basso in facilitating warm-up drills.

“It’s good for them,” Owls boss Darren Moore told The Star. “Adriano is working hard with these players and is getting them used to the arena, allowing them to get a feel for it, what it’s like to train and the detail we put into a matchday.

“These players are helping to warm up Bailey and Joe, so they’re getting a first hand view of what it takes to be a first team goalkeeper but they’re up close and getting them ready for a match.

“When we win a game, those young keepers can feel a part of it because they’ve helped contribute towards getting Bailey or Joe ready to perform.

“The enjoyment they get from it is good from their development.”

Render has been told he will leave the club at the end of his contract but could make the bench when Peacock-Farrell is on international duty next weekend.

Charles, 16, is a hotly-rated Northern Ireland youth cap and is developing in the youth ranks alongside England youth international Jack Hall, 17.

Moore continued: “There are different things we’re doing here to aid the development of these younger lads coming on and I just think from a psychological point of view, to be there at Hillsborough, to have a taste of being out on that pitch and feeling the energy of the dressing room when we’re preparing for matches.

“We want them to feel like they’re a part of that from a very young age.”