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Inside Sheffield Wednesday U18s – Title hopefuls, internationals and missing the running bus UK News

It’s an exciting time for Sheffield Wednesday U18s at the moment.

“We have a saying here… We say ‘If you’re going to miss the bus, miss it running’.”

Andy Holdsworth has a talented group of players at his disposal as he looks to help develop some stars of the future for the Owls, but he knows succeeding at U18 level doesn’t mean there’s a guaranteed professional career down the line. path. .

“It’s development football,” he said during the team’s impressive FA Youth Cup run this season. “It’s about getting them into the scholarship scheme at the age of 16 and trying to get them into the U23s and beyond…”

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That cup run came to an end at Ewood Park as the young Owls were defeated by Grade 1 side Blackburn Rovers in a close two rounds game after upsetting the odds by beating Southampton, but his side showed that they are not. ready to fall without a fight.

Probably the best example of that spirit came back in October when they found themselves trailing 5-1 at the break to Crewe Alexandra. But have they thrown in the towel? Absolutely not – it ended 6-5 on Wednesday. If you’re going to miss the bus, miss it by running.

And people are starting to notice it.

One of the stars of this Crewe comeback was Bailey Cadamarteri, the son of former Everton striker Danny, a player who impressed so much on Wednesday that West Ham United, Manchester City and Brentford are all watching him. And for good reason.

He scored 13 goals in Wednesday’s 19 games in the Professional Development League and Youth Cup this season – including the winner against Saints – and continued his impressive rise through the ranks, but he is not the alone to impress.

Former City youngster Leojo Davidson grabbed the attention with dominating performances and eight goals, while little Murtadha Al-Jahadhmy participated with six strikes and showed sparkling footwork.

Five others have scored for the Holdsworth side this season as they try to maintain their march to the top of the PDL North table – they are currently second – while others such as Rio Shipston, Caelan Kilheeney and Sean Fusire are just a few of the others. names that have caught the eye this season.

In Jack Hall and Pierce Charles, they have two international goalkeepers for England and Northern Ireland respectively, and the pair have already had the chance to step up to the senior team where Darren Moore has them put to a test.

“It was difficult at times to get up to speed in the first team,” Hall told The Star recently. “Because it’s much faster and more intense than the U18s, but you have to adapt, and that’s what the best do.”

And the Wednesdayite of always has great ambitions. Ambitions that involved Hillsborough, the stadium where he has been watching games with his family for years.

“For me, I want to keep playing well,” he explained. “To be more consistent in games and improve that aspect and then hopefully push for the first team in the future. It’s my club, it was until the end, it’s all I’ve ever known. I’ve had a subscription every year and have always supported Wednesdays.

“I’ve been here since I was six and the goal is to go all the way – I want to play in the first team. It’s sometimes difficult to measure up to things in the first team because it’s much faster and more intense than the U18s, but you have to adapt and that’s what the best do.

And in Moore there is a very clear path… The Owls boss is highly respected for his work in the youth sectors and has an academic background himself – he has said in the past that Wednesday’s youngsters don’t probably won’t have a better chance of progression than right now, and Holdsworth said recently there was “a lot of clarity” on that progression.

The U18s manager has a young squad, with U16s like Isaac Holland and Tony Yogane impressive enough to be stepped up to, while Neil Thompson’s U23s have regularly been populated by Basile Zottos, Jay Glover, Alex Bonnington and Paulo. Aguas – all of whom were U18s last season – as well as Cadamarteri, Hall, Davidson and others.

“We have a lot of first years in our group,” Holdsworth explained. “We have U16s on our bench, and it’s the treadmill. The step from U16s to U18s isn’t the hard step, they’re the ones that follow – if they can take that step and do it at a constant level, so who knows – they can do whatever they want in the game.”

After the defeat at Ewood Park, there were devastated young owls lying on the pitch with their heads in their hands, but…

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This notice was published: 2022-03-07 20:06:00

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