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Club News

Something to strive for

24 January 2018

Club News

Something to strive for

24 January 2018

Successful loan stints, first team debuts and glowing assessments.

Without question it has been a positive few weeks for the Owls’ youth system.

With first team debuts for Sean Clare, Frederik Nielsen and Jordan Thorniley – and a first Hillsborough appearance for Connor O’Grady – there is plenty to be encouraged by from a youth perspective.

Neil Thompson says it has given the academy a huge boost, while underlining it is just the beginning for the young talents.

“A career doesn’t just land on your table,” he told “You have got to go and search for it, strive for it, really drive yourself and try to be better every day.

“So while the last few weeks have been a big encouragement for us, it doesn’t end there. They have to keep pushing.

“Every experience you have, whether it’s out on loan, whether it’s training with the first team, whether it’s you debut - it all frames your career.

“The manager has had confidence in them to go and perform and they have had solid performances.

“That is what we are here for, trying to provide players for the first team group.

“We know when there are injuries, opportunities arise, they are still very young but it will give them a lift absolutely and it’s been very encouraging.”

Thompson believes it is vitally important that the players continue to push themselves every day as he reflects back on what has been a strong period for the Under-23s.

“The intensity is higher and the quality is better over the past few years,” he added.

“Then obviously we’ve seen three lads make their debut and one make his Hillsborough debut and that is fantastic.

“That should give everybody a lift at the academy and all the young players. If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what is going to.

“As an academy we want to win games, we love doing that.

“Last year we won the league which was fantastic but ultimately the biggest lift for anybody is to get players making their debut in the first team.

“Sean Clare and Jordan Thorniley have been out on loan in a first team and that has been a big help.

“The players have a buzz about them but they have to keep pushing.

“The mentality of the players is good, you have to be tough, not shy away from a challenge in terms of training with first team and you must have belief in yourself.”

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