Date: 31st July 2006 at 6:07pm
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With less than a week to go until the Owls travel to Preston for the start of the new Championship season Wednesday are still without a goalkeeper. Vital Sheffield Wednesday asks whether Paul Sturrock will ever find his man.

Almost six weeks ago the Owls gaffer said he wanted his new number one in place before the start of pre-season, yet here we are still waiting for that new man to put pen to paper and put our minds at rest.

Sturrock’s number one target was former loanee Scott Carson who has just signed a new five-year deal at Liverpool, and Owls fans won’t begrudge him waiting slightly longer for a decision on a man who changed Wednesday’s luck during his two month stay in S6 last season, and all but save the Owls from a swift return to League One football last season.

Yet the man at the helm himself re-assured fans that he wouldn’t risk waiting on the former Leeds goalkeeper for too long and be without a number one with just a week to go until the start of the season.

He told the official SWFC website back in June: ‘I will talk to Liverpool over the next couple of days to find out the situation and I hope they can mark my card either way. But I haven’t left all my eggs in one basket and I will be working to bring a keeper in soon – hopefully by June 26th.’

Yet here we are.

Hardly the best preperation for the defenders to be training, and indeed playing alongside the second choice ‘keeper at Hillsborough – Chris Adamson – just a week before the start of the season. Or maybe Sturrock’s budget is up, and the former WBA man will in fact start between the sticks for the Owls at Deepdale. Please tell me you’re joking.

Pre-season means rumour-mill overdrive, and numerous names have been linked with a move to Hillsborough during the summer. Mart Poom of Arsenal, Tony Warner at Fulham, David Marshall at Celtic – all names linked with the number one jersey yet none have materialised. The Carson deal seems to have been off and on as many times as Pete Doherty’s relationship with Kate Moss and we are still no closer to a new man in goal.

The latest name to be linked is Middlesbrough’s number two Aussie stopper Brad Jones – a name that hardly fills me with confidence after some ‘interesting’ performances not least in the UEFA Cup for the Teesiders.

But do we actually care? Is Sturrock doing the right thing by taking his time and (hopefully) choosing the right man, or do we need someone in between the sticks – and fast!

The Owls boss has today said he hopes to have someone in place for this Saturday’s Championship opener. He hopes to have the newboy in place by Monday (not likely now) or Tuesday to give him time to settle in and work with the men playing in front of him.

He told teamtalk: ‘We’re very hopeful that we can tie something up for the weekend and have something in place for next week.’

We’ve heard this kind of thing before. Let’s hope it actually comes off this time, eh Mr Sturrock?