Owls striker is sidelined to concentrate on court case

Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Madine will not play for the Hillsborough club again until the end of his forthcoming Crown Court trial.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones. (Picture: Dan Westwell)

The 22-year-old was left out of Dave Jones’s side which lost to Burnley 2-1 in the Championship on Saturday and afterwards the Owls manager revealed the reasons for his omission.

He said the club had decided Madine – who is due to stand trial on assault charges on September 2 in Leeds Crown Court – would continue to train during the week at Middlewood Road, but he would not be considered for match days.

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That means he will miss Saturday’s Yorkshire derby at Leeds, a trip to Middlesbrough and Millwall’s visit to Hillsborough before the international break.

The earliest Gateshead-born Madine – who began his career with Carlisle United and signed for the Owls in January, 2011 for a fee believed to be around £800,000 – could return is the Hillsborough game against Yeovil on September 14.

“The club’s taken a decision on Gary Madine to allow him to concentrate fully on his court case which he has coming up in two weeks’ time,” said Jones.

“The club has made that decision and I cannot say too much about it. It’s another player that we lose but it’s Gary’s future and it’s more important than football.

“He needs to be fully focussed on that and that is what the club has decided. I have been there myself, I know what it takes and it’s a big thing for him,” added Jones, who was involved in a high-profile court case in 2000 when he was cleared of child abuse allegations.

Jones said: “He needs to make sure that he is aware of what he has got to do. It’s a big call by the club and people will ask if it’s the right call but it is the lad’s future.”

Speculation has linked Madine with several moves from Hillsborough but that now appears unlikely with the transfer window closing on September 2, the Monday when Madine’s court case will open in Leeds.

“Rumours about him being lined up for a move are not true because I think it will be difficult for him to move away if he’s in court in two weeks’ time,” said Jones.

“He has still got to train with us because he will be two weeks preparing for court and two weeks in court and we won’t see him for those two weeks.”

Madine’s absence has added to Jones’s troubles. He is also missing Jermaine Johnson – serving a three match ban for an alleged head-butt at Rotherham United in the League Cup – and midfielder Giles Coke, who has a swollen gallbladder.

With both first-choice full-backs, Reda Johnson and Lewis Buxton, plus their replacements, Joe Mattock and Kieran Lee, also missing the start of the season due to injury, Jones – who is unable to bring in any new additions due to strict budget guidelines at Wednesday – has been forced to send out makeshift teams in each of the club’s first three games this season.

Two goals in the space of five first-half minutes earned Burnley their win at Hillsborough.

Match report: Page 4.