Date: 5th February 2007 at 11:14am
Written by:

Young Owls winger David McClements has been rewarded for his rapid progression through the Owls youth ranks by being nominated for the Wickes Young Apprentice of the Year by Wednesday staff.

The Northern Irish midfielder will attend the Football League Awards on March 4 to see if he’s won the award – and also picked up a £5,000 cheque for the Owls youth development programme as well as holiday vouchers as a personal prize.

McClements told the official SWFC site: ‘I’m pretty pleased but it is a bit of shock, I didn’t expect to be nominated. It has been a good year, been involved with the first team at the start of the season and playing well in the under-18’s and reserves. Hopefully I’ll get a contract at the end.’

The youngster will also be up against Christopher Gunter (Cardiff City), Nicky Featherstone (Hull City), Jonathan Lund (Leeds United), Eric Odhiambo (Leicester City) and Adam Rooney (Stoke City).

The winner will be picked by a judging panel, put together by Wickes and The Football League and made up of Andy Townsend, Pat Lally (Professional Footballer’s Association), Harry Wilson (The Football League), Matt Cook (Sport Sponsorship Manager) and Luke Nicoli (Championship Writer, FourFourTwo magazine).

Owls academy manager Sean McAuley told the official SWFC site: ‘David has been nominated because of how he’s improved over the 18 months since we signed him. As well as football, the nomination comes from his success in integrating into our society from a different country, and the improvements he’s made in his education.’

Matt Cook told the official Football League website: ‘Last year’s award was very competitive with Lewin Nyatanga winning the trophy. Lewin has since become a regular in the Welsh team and is currently enjoying a successful spell at Sunderland where he is on loan from Derby County.

‘The players on this years shortlist have all shone for their respective clubs and we anticipate another keenly contested award. Hopefully all of the players involved will go on to have successful careers with their clubs.’