It’s not often you hear about an up and coming Irish footballer. That’s not to disrespect the football that hails from that part of the world but it seems increasingly rare.
However, in Conor Grant, the Republic of Ireland and Sheffield Wednesday have a rising star on their hands that we may start to hear a lot more about very soon.
Grant signed for the club back in 2017, arriving from Shamrock Rovers as a largely unknown prodigy. He’s still not really known to many but his performances for Wednesday’s U23’s this season suggest he’ll be ready to make an impact at a higher level in the near future.
The creative midfielder has enjoyed a breakthrough season, signing a professional deal with the club in December before being handed a squad number ahead of the Owls’ game with Bolton earlier this year. He didn’t make the squad on that occasion, but it shows he’s very much in Steve Bruce’s thoughts.
It’s clear to see why too. Grant is one of those players teams strive to have, he’s got quick feet and his ability to pick a pass is a key feature of his game. He’s also got goals in him, finding the net often in 2018/19.
Two of his best displays came against city rivals Sheffield United and Crystal Palace in the Development League. He claimed a goal and an assist in both matches, with his willingness to drive at the defence in evidence, particularly against the Blades.
Speaking to The Sheffield Star, the club’s development manager Neil Thompson spoke highly of the 17-year-old: “Conor is a good, level-headed lad. He loves his football. He is a good player and he has good awareness and we just have to keep working with him.”
His awareness of the play around him is one of the things that stood out when Wednesday’s U23’s beat their rivals 2-0, putting the ball on a plate for Rolando Aarons to score. It’s something that should excite Owls supporters in the years to come.
Grant may find a first senior team appearance difficult to come by considering the club finds itself in a promotion race, but while he may not be ready for that just yet he’s certainly a player they must continue to invest plenty of time in.