Owls four earn new deals as Jones plans to strengthen

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday manager Dave Jones has offered new deals to goalkeepers Stephen Bywater and Arron Jameson, defender Mark Beevers and winger Jermaine Johnson.

The news emerged yesterday as the Owls announced that six other out-of-contract players will be leaving Hillsborough.

Veteran striker Clinton Morrison, winger Chris Sedgwick, defender Jon Otsemebor and third choice goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell are surplus to requirements despite playing first-team football this season. The latter was swiftly snapped up by Chesterfield on a one-year deal.

Youngsters Sean Cuff and Vadaine Oliver – who had yet to figure in the first team – have also been shown the exit door.

Goalkeeper Bywater, 30, joined the Owls, initially on loan, from Derby County in September as a replacement for the injured Nicky Weaver. His deal became permanent in the New Year and he was a mainstay of the club’s promotion push.

Jameson, 22, has not figured this season but made two appearances last term.

Defender Beevers, 22, spent three months on loan at Milton Keynes Dons but returned to the Owls side for the final six games of the season. Primarily a centre-back, he switched to left-back because of injuries and his performances secured the offer of a new deal.

Johnson, meanwhile, had been in and out of the side this season, but the Jamaican remains a valuable asset as an impact player from the bench.

Jones, who waited until his players returned from an end-of-season trip to Marbella before releasing his retained list, said: “It’s never an easy time, especially after winning promotion, because some players will go from a sense of elation to deflation. We are not renewing some contracts but others, who have also indicated that they want to stay, have been made offers.

“Both Stephen and Mark, like everyone else, have been terrific this season,” he added. “And when you weigh up what it would it cost to get a player like Jermaine on the market, it makes sense to try and keep him.”

Academy graduate Jarrod Kyle has landed his first professional deal and teenager Mitch Husbands will also be staying for another year. Matt Tumilty, Lee Wall, Scott Canham and Tom Rowbotham are released. Jones, who is in talks over prospective new signings, confirmed that other players may be allowed to leave this summer. The Owls were last night closing in on their first capture, 23-year-old Oldham defender Kieran Lee.

Rotherham United have announced the signing of former Barnsley striker Kayode Odejayi from League One Colchester United.

Odejayi, 30, has rejected a new deal at Colchester to step down a division and join the ambitious Millers. He links up with another former Barnsley striker in Daniel Nardiello, from Exeter City.

A one-time Nigerian international, Odejayi spent three seasons at Barnsley and was a member of the side that beat Liverpool and Chelsea in 2008 before losing in an FA Cup semi-final to Cardiff City at Wembley.

Although he only scored five goals this season, he was still voted Colchester’s ‘player of the year’ by supporters due to the hard-working nature of his performances.

Both Odejayi and Nardiello played together for Barnsley in 2008 and the pair will join the Millers when their current contracts expire on July 1.

ian.appleyard@ypn.co.uk