SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Owls take Kieran Lee a step nearer top-flight target

Old pal: Kieran Lee challenges ex-Oldham team-mate Chris O'Grady in a match against Wednesday
Old pal: Kieran Lee challenges ex-Oldham team-mate Chris O'Grady in a match against Wednesday
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WEDNESDAY new boy Kieran Lee was unable to play regularly for Manchester United in the Premier League - but he is hoping that the Owls will enable him to fulfil that top-flight ambition.

Firstly, of course, he has to try to win a place in Dave Jones’s Championship side.

But the 23-year-old regards his move from Oldham to Hillsborough as a step-up in his career and one that could lead to even bigger things.

“It’s a great move for me, from League One to a big club in the Championship,” he told The Star.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“This is ambitious club looking to push on next season, do well and maybe challenge for the play-offs, I don’t know. I don’t see why not.

“Everybody wants to play in the Premier League. You never know. That’s the plan. It’s got to be the target for everybody.”

Lee, who has spent four years at Oldham, came through the Old Trafford youth system and played one league game for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, against Chelsea.

“Coming through at Manchester United, you’re brought up to play the right way,” he said.

“It’s hard to cement yourself in the first team there, but a lot of the lads have moved on and had good careers somewhere else. Hopefully I can keep doing well.”

Lee is rated by Oldham manager Paul Dickov as the Latics’ best player of the last two years.

The defender said: “I enjoyed my time there and had a good relationship with the fans and the management.

“I spoke to the staff about the move and they all wished me well. I needed to try to progress and play at a higher level.”

Lee knows Chris O’Grady and Daniel Jones as they both had spells at Boundary Park.

Dickov said: “I would like to wish Kieran all the best. He has been a fantastic player, and I am happy he is joining a Championship club as he deserves to play at that level.

“Kieran has been consistently our best player for the last two seasons.”

Owls midfield player Liam Palmer is in the Scotland Under 21 squad for tomorrow’s European Championship qualifier away to Bulgaria, in Lovech.

Jordan Rhodes joined up late with the squad after playing for Huddersfield against Sheffield United in the League One play-off final at Wembley last Saturdsay.

Scotland U-21 boss Billy Stark believes that any physical fatigue felt by Rhodes will be offset by the excitement of achieving promotion, and he reported that Rhodes is still on a high.

Jarrod Kyle’s long-range strike for Wednesday Under 18s in the 3-0 win against United in April has won a Goal of the Month award.

It polled 78 per cent of the votes in the contest organised by League Football Education, who administer the education of Football League apprentices.

Centre-forward Kyle was also the Owls’ Academy Player of the Year.