Sheffield Wednesday: Summer of sweat awaits Wednesday’s stars

Owls boss Stuart Gray
Owls boss Stuart Gray

As part of their pre-season preparations, Wednesday’s squad will be put through their paces in one of Europe’s top tourist destinations.

Stuart Gray’s men fly out to the Algarve, Portugal, on Wednesday July 22 as part of their summer schedule.

It will be the third time in the last four years the Owls have sampled warm weather training in Portugal. They were twice taken under Dave Jones, playing friendlies against fellow English sides Reading and Hull City.

The Championship club mixed things up in 2014 by heading off to Slovenia. The team were based in Maribor and played FC Arsenal Tula in a warm-up match. Wednesday lost 2-1 to the Russian top flight side despite going ahead through Michail Antonio.

Discussions are still ongoing over who Wednesday will take on in their one friendly in the region of Albufeira. No date or venue has yet to be confirmed.

Owls player of the season Keiren Westwood, meanwhile, has been included in Republic of Ireland’s provisional 33-man squad for their forthcoming home matches with England and Scotland.

The 30-year-old, capped 17 times by his country, starred in his first year at Hillsborough as Wednesday equalled a club-record 17 clean sheets in a league season.

Westwood will be vying with David Forde, Shay Given and Darren Randolph for the goalkeeping spot.

Ireland face England in a friendly at Aviva Stadium on Sunday, June 7 before hosting Scotland in a UEFA Euro 2016 Group D qualifier on Saturday June 13.

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