Keeper’s no 1 priority

Richard O'Donnell
Richard O'Donnell

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell is hoping to challenge Nicky Weaver for his first-team place next season as the Owls landed a plum Carling Cup first round draw against Blackpool.

The tie against Ian Holloway’s Tangerines is expected to take place at Hillsborough on Tuesday, August 9. The club will officially announce the date and ticket prices, including any deals, soon.

Sheffiel Wednesday v Chesterfield.....Owls Penalty shoot out hero keeper Nicky Weaver

Sheffiel Wednesday v Chesterfield.....Owls Penalty shoot out hero keeper Nicky Weaver

Twenty-two-year-old O’Donnell played in nine matches when Weaver was injured during the last cam-

paign including a one-minute appearance in the final game of the season against Exeter City at Hillsborough.

On that occasion he came on for Weaver, who had been stretchered off after injuring himself trying to equalise in front of the Kop in a 2-1 loss.

While O’Donnell may have ended last season in the Owls net, a fit-again Weaver will un-

doubtedly be the first name on Gary Megson’s teamsheet for the opening League One match on August 6.

O’Donnell impressed when making his debut at Southampton in a 2-0 defeat in March and went on to keep clean sheets against Tranmere and Hartlepool at home as Wednesday won three in a row at home during April.

After returning from holiday this week, O’Donnell posted on Twitter that he was looking forward to getting back into action.

He said: “Two weeks until pre-season starts! Had a good break, goes very quick. Ready for a big season though!!

“I will be pushing for a first-team place of course!

“Had a taste and want more of it ... and totally agree, promotion is a must!”

Tommy Spurr is set to leave Hillsborough.

A deal with Doncaster Rovers for the left-back is not yet a formality but is likely to go ahead.

He fell out of favour last season when Gary Megson took over as manager.