Sheffield Wednesday: Steven Fletcher meets new team mates as Owls return for pre-season training

Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher

The boys are back in town!

Wednesday’s players reported back for pre-season training yesterday - a little over five weeks after losing the all Yorkshire Championship Play-Off final to Hull City.

Having finished the 2015/16 campaign later than the rest of their rivals, Carlos Carvalhal opted to give his squad extra recovery time.

Striker Steven Fletcher met his new teammates for the first time since moving to Hillsborough yesterday. The Scotland international, who has penned a four-year contract, was released by Sunderland last month.

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Capped 28 times by his country, Fletcher could make his first Owls outing in their warm-up match at Alfreton Town a week tomorrow.

However, goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has been given longer to rest and recuperate, having been part of Republic of Ireland’s European Championships squad this summer. Sergiu Bus was the only other absentee.

Wednesday were not alone in kicking off their pre-season programme yesterday. Several Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, Everton and Manchester City, also returned to pre-season training.

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If last year is anything to go by, the balls will be out immediately at the Owls’ Middlewood Road training ground. The players can look forward to a mixture of fitness, technical and tactical work in preparation for their league opener against Aston Villa on August 7.

Pre-season, of course, gives Wednesday’s players the opportunity to prove a point to Carvalhal. They will be looking to impress the Portuguese chief, who recently celebrated his one-year anniversary in charge of the Owls, with their attitude and application during the sessions and matches. It could be the difference between them featuring against Villa or being left out of their match-day squad.

It is likely Carvalhal will hand the vast majority of his squad game time in their friendlies with Alfreton, Chesterfield and Benfica before the six-day trip to Portugal later this month.

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