Sheffield Wednesday: Owls No 1 surprised by Kirkland departure

Keiren Westwood
Keiren Westwood

Keiren Westwood admits he was shocked Chris Kirkland decided to leave the Championship club.

Kirkland, who joined the Owls in 2012 following a six-year spell with Wigan Athletic, left Wednesday at the start of the month after rejecting their one-year contract offer.

The 34-year-old spent the majority of last season as number two to Westwood, making just eight appearances. His desire to play first-team football on a regular basis prompted him to move on.

Westwood told The Star: “I was surprised Kirky didn’t sign again but that’s football. People make their own decisions and I wish him all the best for the future. Lewis [Price] has come in now and I’m sure he will add something to our goalkeeping unit.”

Westwood has spoken of his pride at starting for the Republic of Ireland in their friendly against England last month. He played just over an hour of the drab goalless draw.

“It was great for the whole country as it had been a long time since we had played them on our own turf,” he said. “I enjoyed it and we got a good result.

“I only found out an hour before kick-off that I was playing. When I heard my name called out, I was a bit taken aback but I was delighted.

“It is a massive honour for me every time I put that jersey on.

“We could have been playing against Liechtenstein or Andorra and it still would have meant a massive amount to me as a person.”

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