Date: 21st December 2008 at 3:27pm
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Nathan Modest is the latest youngster to break his way into the Wednesday team. But is it a case of needs must, or are McAuley’s youngsters ready for the step up?

The Owls have been decimated once again by injury problems and the seventeen-year-old Modest appeared on the bench for the Bristol City game and was a surprise starter against Cardiff alongside twenty-year-old Luke Boden. Wednesday were only able to field 4 substitutes due to the crisis, including fellow academy graduates Rocky Lekaj, Richard O’Donnell and Sam Liversidge, who joined established graduates Richard Wood, Mark Beevers, Sean McAllister and Tommy Spurr in the squad.

Modest is part of the “best we’ve ever had” generation of 1st years hailed by Manager Sean McAuley, and his appearance in the first team could be the catalyst for a real influx of youngsters into the first team, over the hectic Christmas period. The likes of Liam Palmer and James Cottingham have been touted for the top and second years Leon Lekaj and Max Wragg have also received plaudits of late.

The academy players should be enjoying a Winter break, but the opportunity of first team appearances will no doubt be a much better Christmas present for them.