Sheffield Wednesday under-23 coach Lee Bullen has suggested that a number of his players could be vying for first team places next season.
Darren Moore is preparing for life in League One after the Owls suffered relegation from the Championship on a dramatic final day showdown with relegation rivals Derby County.
With a number of high-profile players moving on this summer, the club would typically be looking to conduct plenty of business to rebuild the playing squad, but with off-field issues causing significant problems for the club it means that bringing players in is much tougher than first thought.
As a result it means that Wednesday may have to look closer to home for new players with Bullen suggesting that some of his young players could be handed an opportunity – but only if they earn it.
Speaking to Yorkshire Live about the prospect of using the under-23s, Bullen said: “They’re being forced into it in some way, but you have to earn your right… I think a few of them have earned that right, against Fulham, and Exeter, and Everton and Rochdale.
“I’ve mainly worked with Liam Waldock more than any of them, because a lot of the others have been up there with the first team and dropped back in fleetingly.
“The attitude of Liam, to see his mates getting the exposure that he’s craving, has been really positive. He’s gotten 30/35 games under his belt because he’s been in the U23s, and you need that game time.
“I think Darren is going to use the senior players with the U23s, and he’s shown that last season – it’s about getting the culture and attitude amongst the players, and getting them to buy into it.”
Quiz: Did these 18 players make more than 100 Sheffield Wednesday appearances?
This is a very worrying time for Sheffield Wednesday fans.
Suffering relegation was a massive blow in itself but the hope was always that the club would be able to regroup, rebuild and ultimately challenge to secure promotion next term.
While there’s nothing to say that this won’t happen, it’s clear that things aren’t looking good right now.
Dejphon Chansiri needs to sort out these cashflow problems as otherwise the Owls could be the next big English institution to really suffer at the hands of financial mismanagement.