Tom Lees has expressed his delight for Sheffield Wednesday’s latest debutant after Connor Kirby made his Owls bow on Saturday against Reading.
Kirby is one of a number of academy graduates to be given a chance this season under manager Jos Luhukay, mostly due to injuries in the side, but also a fundamental belief in youth from the boss.
Kirby followed in the footsteps of the likes of Connor O’Grady, Jordan Thorniley, Sean Clare, Freddie Neilsen and Jack Stobbs - not to mention goalkeepers Joe Wildsmith and Cameron Dawson - in being given an opportunity to run out for the first team, when he came off the bench against the Royals at Hillsborough.
Kirby described it as “the best moment of my life so far” and skipper Lees says he now has the chance to put himself in the manager’s thinking for next season.
“It’s good the young lads getting a chance,” said Lees.
“He’s a local lad and I’m pleased for him. It will mean the world to him, he’s got that game time and at Hillsborough as well.
“Like the rest of the players they are in the same boat, they have a couple of weeks to put themselves in the frame.”
Lees offered a note of caution however, adding: “You have to be careful, there’s a fine balance because if you have a team full of youngsters they don’t have that experience and leadership, they can get a bit lost
“But I think at this club if the player is good enough and trains with us the manager’s not afraid to involve him. We were all that player at some point in our careers , we’ve all been that age. You just want that chance.”