Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal placed his faith in youth in the Capital One Cup...and was handsomely rewarded.
Academy graduate Joe Wildsmith performed admirably in the Owls’ resounding 4-1 win over Mansfield Town on Tuesday.
And Carvalhal, who was impressed with the attitude and application shown by Cameron Dawson, Ryan Croasdale and Ryan Meadows over pre-season, has left the door ajar for other young starlets to break into the senior set-up.
He told The Star: “It is a question of quality. If the players have qualities to play in the first-team, they will play.
“Look at Sporting Lisbon a few years ago. They had a lot players who came through their academy such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Quaresma and Simao. They played because they were better than others.”
Carvalhal singled out Wildsmith for praise following his impressive debut.
“He did very well,” he said. “The best thing I can say about Joe is that I slept very well the night before knowing he was playing. I told him that he had 100% of our confidence.”
Meanwhile, former Owls goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has signed a one-year deal with Preston North End. The 34-year-old was a free agent after rejecting Owls’ contract offer last month
Kirkland had spent time training with his old club Wigan Athletic this summer.