Young Owls: How Sheffield Wednesday’s kids got on in a 2020/21 campaign of two halves
The managers of both Sheffield Wednesday’s U23s and U18s got roped into first team duties over the course of 2020/21 this season, but how did the kids do over the course of the campaign?
Wednesday’s U23s battled it out in the Professional Development League North and finished the season pretty strongly after a tough 2020, managing to finish the season as the most in-form team in the league with a five-game unbeaten run that secured an eighth-place finish.
Ryan Galvin, who got his senior debut for Wednesday in the FA Cup and captained the U23s, said, “It was a tough season and at first we kept losing games, there wasn’t a lot in them but we finished on the losing side. But as we got to know each other more, get that bond, we performed strongly.”
Six of their eight wins came in the second half of the season after dealing with their early troubles, and Lee Bullen will have been very happy with their return of 13 goals in their last seven matches.
For many of them, such as Ben Hughes, Charlie Reaney and Isaac Rice, this season signalled the end of the road for their time at Wednesday, however others such as Galvin, Liam Waldock and Josh Dawodu did well and earned spells up with the Wednesday first team.
Meanwhile, the U18s managed to storm up to a fourth place finish in the U18 Professional Development League North table after a crazy run of form at the end of the campaign.
Like their U23 counterparts, Andy Holdsworth’s side had a difficult start as they failed to win any of their opening seven matches, however then went on to win 12 of their last 18 matches, including a run of nine matches at the end which saw them win seven, draw one, lose one, and score a whopping 26 goals.
The likes of Alex Bonnington, Paulo Aguas, Will Trueman, Jay Glover and Basile Zottos all impressed in the last year of their respective scholarships, and secured professional contract offers from the Owls on the back of their season, with several players from the U18 setup stepping up into Bullen’s U23s for the last couple of games of their campaign.