'Versatility ... balance' - Sheffield Wednesday's glowing assessment on two of the seven new boys

At this stage it doesn’t really matter and ‘minutes in the legs’ are what’s important as managers and coaches will continue to tell us until the real thing kicks off at the end of the month.
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While people will always look to the goalscorers in pre-season friendlies – in the case of Friday night and the trip to Harrogate Town, Josh Windass and new signing Michael Smith from the spot – the coaching staff will often see something else.

Two players who stood out among the better performers in blue and white are also fresh faces to the squad.

Sheffield Wednesday new boy Akin Famewo came through his debut with credit. Credit: Harrogate Town FCSheffield Wednesday new boy Akin Famewo came through his debut with credit. Credit: Harrogate Town FC
Sheffield Wednesday new boy Akin Famewo came through his debut with credit. Credit: Harrogate Town FC
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Reece James and Akin Famewo both turned in eye-catching early showings at the EnviroVent Stadium and they provide what Wednesday often missed last season … balance.

‘Square pegs in round holes’ almost became a cliche when Wednesday posted their team sheet an hour before kick off in each game during last year’s campaign and it it something the club have moved to address in their recruitment this summer.

“First of all he's a left-footer on that left side which gives us good balance going forward,” said assistant boss Jamie Smith of Famewo, who joined earlier this onth from Norwich City.

“As you can see he gives us a good physical presence and he's quick, he's aggressive, he likes to get on the front foot and he'll bring all that to our squad. We've known about him for a long time.

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"That balance is important. We had it a lot last season where we had right footers on the left hand side and it just takes that little bit away from us. It just gives us that balance having natural left footers on that side. We want right footers on the right and left footers on the left. That will massively help us this season.”

James’ abilities will come as no surprise to Smith or Darren Moore with the player having turned out for Doncaster Rovers while the latter was in charge.

“We obviously worked with Reece at Doncaster and he's obviously a really good player,” added Smith of the former Blackpool man.

“He's got a good left foot and he's a good footballer, he's good physically and gets up and down the pitch. He'll help us this season.

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"Because we've worked with him before, he knows what we're about and we know what he's about so it's a really good opportunity for him to come to a big club and help us this season. He played as a full-back for us, as a winger for us and as a midfielder for us, so he brings that versatility as well.”