Sheffield Wednesday: Owls kids urged to progress

Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones.

New academy coach Steven Haslam has expressed his determination to help more of Sheffield Wednesday’s youngsters break into the first-team side.

Dave Jones, the Owls manager, has placed a big emphasis on the production of young players, prompting the Championship outfit to establish a development squad last year.

As long as the next generation prove their credentials on the training ground and in practice matches, Jones has stated he is willing to give youth a chance.

Haslam, handed a full-time role as Wednesday’s lead coach for the Professional Development Phase (Under-18) squad yesterday, came through the ranks at Hillsborough in 1999 and the Sheffield-born defender went on to make 171 appearances for the South Yorkshire club.

He told The Star: “I do feel that the standards are improving and hopefully we can give the manager more options from the youth team. That’s our goal.

“There are some very talented players at the club but the competition is very tough. To actually progress into the first-team is a difficult path. Sometimes people don’t realise football is a very competitive industry. It is not easy to make the step up.”