Southampton v Sheffield Wednesday: Bailey Cadamarteri on staying grounded and learning from his father

BAILEY CADAMARTERI is a young man who is doing the right things on the pitch and also speaking and conducting himself in the right way off it.

For a teenage prodigy who happens to be the son of a former Premier League footballer, that is particularly important.

The Sheffield Wednesday striker is living the dream at the club he has been on the books at since the age of nine.

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This season, he has made his big first-team breakthrough and also signed a new contract. The future looks undeniably bright, for sure and he has the makings of being the most exciting talent to emerge through the ranks at Hillsborough in a number of years.

Sheffield Wednesday striker Bailey Cadamarteri, pictured after scoring his first goal for the club against Blackburn Rovers in December. Picture: Steve Ellis.Sheffield Wednesday striker Bailey Cadamarteri, pictured after scoring his first goal for the club against Blackburn Rovers in December. Picture: Steve Ellis.
Sheffield Wednesday striker Bailey Cadamarteri, pictured after scoring his first goal for the club against Blackburn Rovers in December. Picture: Steve Ellis.

As for getting carried away? That appears not to be in the equation. Speak to the 18-year-old and the phrase ‘old head on young shoulders’ springs to mind.

A grounded lad who handled the questions asked of him in the Owls’ pre-match press conference with care and intelligence. It reflected well upon his upbringing and development. His support team also has his back.

Most notably, his dad Danny, who burst onto the scene as a teenager with Everton when he scored the winner in a Merseyside derby in 1997.

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Cadamarteri senior had some much-publicised issues early in his career and when he speaks to his sons - Bailey’s younger brother Caelan-Kole is also on the Owls’ books - about the potential pitfalls of being a professional footballer, it comes from experience and not just paternal love.

Cadamarteri said: "I have got a good friendship group and have picked out the people who want the best for me. That’s always the best start and I have got a good family around me and that helps as well.

"You have to be professional on and off the pitch. It’s a professional sport, but also a professional lifestyle that you have got to live with the game.

"It’s good, my dad has helped me with stuff like that to help me to stay grounded.”

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Cadamarteri is one of several footballers’ sons who are currently stepping in the Championship. Team-mate Josh Windass is one and Hull City’s Jacob Greaves - whose dad Mark played for the club - and Leeds duo Archie Gray and Charlie Cresswell, whose fathers are ex-United players, are among others.

It can bring a certain pressure with it from a very young age. Handling it is the trick and Cadamarteri seems to be doing just that.

The Owls striker, who remembers stepping out as a mascot when his ‘old man’ was playing for Huddersfield Town and Carlisle United, added: “I hear bits about it all the time, but try to not focus on it. He’s had his career and his time has gone.

"I suppose it swings both ways. It can toughen you up, but it can also put a bit of unneeded and unwanted pressure on you in that you are an ex-Premier League footballer’s son. But I don’t look too far into it.

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"There was nothing else I really wanted to do. I wasn’t like my little brother who wanted to grow up and be a fireman."

Cadamarteri may be blazing a trail, but it has not all been sunshine and roses, that said.

In the second half of last season, a double-hernia operation stopped him in his tracks. A consequence was that he was unable to feature in pre-season for the first team as he built his fitness back up.

It’s fair to say that since November, he has been busy making up for lost time on that front.

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He said: "It’s come a little bit quicker than I thought it would have at the start of the season.

"Looking back six months ago when I was injured, I thought I was going to have another season in the (under) ‘21s and maybe get a little loan spell. But I managed to work hard and get myself in a good position.

"As much as injuries aren’t a good thing, I feel like I’ve been fortunate to overcome one so early in my career, so I know how to deal with it physically and mentally."

Once again, the above is an example of Cadamarteri speaking with eminent good sense.

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As for the impression he made upon Danny Rohl? Well, it was an instant one.

The Owls head coach, who handed the striker a debut on November 11, commented: "It was really quick that I decided he has to stay.

"He has potential with his age, speed and finishing. I told him after the first training (session) that he has the momentum and it’s fantastic.

"On the pitch, he is always very focused on what we are doing and minded to learn. He is fit and can run, press and score. All the basics you need as a young player. He will have a good future if he continues to work hard.”