Sheffield Wednesday: Why teen starlet George Hirst is destined for big things
Head of academy coaching Steven Haslam has revealed the secret behind George Hirst's meteoric rise to the top.
The 17-year-old is regarded as one of the hottest properties outside the Premier League.
His stellar goal-scoring exploits at youth level have attracted top-flight interest, with Everton believed to be keeping close tabs on the striker.
The England Under-18 international made his senior Wednesday debut in the League Cup at Cambridge United and also came on as a substitute in their narrow loss at Reading last month.
Haslam told The Star: “George has really progressed in the last two years. He had a huge growth spurt and has a big powerful frame on him now. He’s a big threat.
“For me, it’s George’s character that is really impressive. If he misses chances, he doesn’t let it affect him. He keeps getting in the right areas.
“George is mature and he learns fast. He listens well to advice and he has a tough, ruthless streak to him.”
Hirst has been tipped for a bright future by the Owls’ coaching staff, including head coach Carlos Carvalhal, but Haslam insists the Championship club must not expect too much too soon from the son of Wednesday legend David.
“George is only 17 and made a couple of appearances for the first-team so far so we have to rein in our ambitions a little bit,” he stated. “We have to let
him develop and not get too carried away.”
Hirst converted a penalty in the development squad’s 4-1 thumping of Bolton Wanderers last week.
Haslam, who has guided the Owls into the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time since 1999, said: “Obviously George is the person everybody is talking about but we have a number of other players who we think a lot of in our system. We are not just about George.”