Fun guy Andy different class to loan keeper

Safe hands: Loan No 1 Stephen Bywater is loving life with the Owls thanks to Andy Rhodes
Safe hands: Loan No 1 Stephen Bywater is loving life with the Owls thanks to Andy Rhodes

LOAN ace Stephen Bywater is relishing working with Andy Rhodes and has described the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeping coach’s training sessions as “brilliant”.

It was Rhodes who recommended Bywater to Gary Megson in September when the Owls manager was searching the transfer market for cover for the injured Nicky Weaver.

The former West Ham United shot-stopper joined Wednesday on a three-month emergency loan deal from Derby County and has caught the eye with a series of impressive performances.

Three years ago, Bywater worked with Rhodes while on loan at Ipswich Town. The 30-year-old says Rhodes’ methods make training ‘fun’ and ‘enjoyable’.

“Andy has been great for me personally and I think his sessions are brilliant,” Bywater told The Star. “He is very organised and everything is geared up for the weekend and I really like that.

“I have worked with Andy before so I knew he liked to do different things each week.

“Andy is fun but we work hard. He makes training enjoyable but it is always hard work.

“When I go to work, it is not like it is miserable or down. The sessions here are lively and that’s a good thing because it keeps everyone on their toes. Not every club has lively sessions every day.”

Bywater is set to stay at Hillsborough until December 17 - about the time Weaver should have recovered from his knee problem.

When asked would he be interested in extending his spell at the club, Bywater recently said: “If they want me to play for them longer I’m not going to say ‘no’.

“I’m going to enjoy my time here and we will see what happens. As long as Wednesday do well, I don’t care.”

He is refusing to get carried away by the team’s bright start to the League One season, insisting: “Nothing is won now. It is still early days.

“We have got points in the bank now and we have to keep going.”