Teenage starlet Cameron Dawson is acutely aware of the need for him to get matches under his belt and is prepared to leave Hillsborough on loan.
Including young Dawson, Sheffield Wednesday currently have four goalkeepers on their books; the others are Chris Kirkland, Arron Jameson and Adam Davies.
Dawson, a lifelong Owls fan, accepts that he remains some way down the pecking order, with the experienced Kirkland expected to get the nod in between the sticks at Queens Park Rangers in their Championship curtain-raiser on August 3.
Dawson has yet to make his first-team debut and has not travelled with the senior squad for their week-long pre-season trip to Portugal.
Although he came on as a second-half substitute in the Rodger Wylde testimonial last week, he is viewed as one for the future by the Owls management team.
Dawson kept a clean sheet in the development squad’s 2-0 victory over Hallam on Monday and is likely to line up against Frickley tomorrow.
It was in April that Dawson penned a three-year deal with Wednesday and he recognises regular football is required if he is to continue developing his game.
The 18-year-old told The Star: “I would consider going out on loan to gain first-team experience. It is something I would definitely look at.
“It is important to be playing games even if it is in the development squad, under-21 games or out on loan. You’ve got to be playing games to progress.
“I am just looking to put in some good performances in over pre-season and we will see what happens.”
When pressed on his long-term targets, Dawson said: “My focus is about working as hard I can and getting through pre-season in as good a physical shape as I can. I am still learning and have to keep working hard.
“I am looking to push Chris (Kirkland) along with Adam Davies and Arron Jameson. It is our job to push Chris as much as we can. There is a lot of competition for places but that’s what you want if you are going to be successful.”
In late May, Dawson played twice for England Under-19s at the UEFA U-19 Qualifying Round Tournament in Belgium. Noel Blake’s side missed out on qualifying for the finals in Lithuania as Georgia pipped them to top spot. Dawson enjoyed representing his country.
“It was my first tournament experience for England, which was good,” said Dawson, who has previously been capped at U-18 level. “It was a great experience.
“It is always good when you play for your country and you’ve got the Three Lions on your chest. It is a massive honour. We didn’t get the results we wanted to qualify but it was important to take the experience out of it.
“Jordan Pickford at Sunderland was the other goalkeeper, who I worked and trained with. I learned masses playing with the best players in the country and it was a good test for me.”