Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland keeps eye on ex-Owl

Northampton's Lee Nicholls, pictured during a Wednesday warm-up, is all set for the League Two play-off final
Northampton's Lee Nicholls, pictured during a Wednesday warm-up, is all set for the League Two play-off final
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Owls keeper Chris Kirkland will take a special interest in the League Two play-off final at Wembley on Saturday.

Wednesday’s other keepers and coach Andy Rhodes will also be watching how Northampton fare against Bradford.

For the Cobblers keeper is Lee Nicholls, who was on loan at Hillsborough and a colleague of Kirkland’s at Wigan.

Nicholls, who is loan from the FA Cup winners, was in the Owls squad for a month and on the bench for six games after being brought in by Gary Megson as cover because of injuries. Nicky Weaver and Arron Jameson were out, and Richard O’Donnell was in the team.

Kirkland, before his full transfer to Hillsborough, spotted Nicholls’ ability at an early stage: “I recommended him to my agent when he was a trainee at Wigan,” said the Owls No 1. “Lee needed to get away to get some games and he’s had a great season. Working with Tim Flowers will have helped him.”

Flowers, the former England keeper, is Northampton’s goalkeeping coach.

Nicholls saved a penalty in the second leg of the Cobblers’ 2-0 aggregate win against Cheltenham in the play-off semi-finals.

Wednesday’s England Under-18 keeper Cameron Dawson is in the U-19 squad for European Championship qualifiers this month against Georgia, Belgium and Scotland.