Under-23s best place for George Hirst at moment, says Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal

George Hirst, right, pictured with Barry Bannan after making his Sheffield Wednesday first-team debut.
George Hirst, right, pictured with Barry Bannan after making his Sheffield Wednesday first-team debut.
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HEAD COACH Carlos Carvalhal believes the future of teenage striker George Hirst lies at Sheffield Wednesday.

The 17-year-old – son of Wednesday legend David Hirst – has attracted Premier League interest with his goalscoring exploits at youth level.

Everton are the latest top-flight club to be linked with Hirst, but Carvalhal is not worried about his future.

He believes the England Under-18 striker, who made his senior debut in the League Cup at Cambridge United earlier this season, has ambitions to follow in his father’s footsteps at Hillsborough.

Hirst snr played for Wednesday for over a decade, between 1986 and 1997, netting over 100 goals, and was capped by England.

“He is under contract and more importantly it’s the wishes of the player,” said Carvalhal.

“The player – his father is a legend at the club – and the boy likes to be here and loves the club.

“The wishes of the player will drive everything in the future, if he wants a career here.”

Carvalhal has resisted fans’ calls for Hirst to be given more first-team chances this season, and believes his footballing education is best served playing in the Under-23s.

“George is our player for the future and we have a plan for him,” said Carvalhal.

“The worst we can do is try to put him in the first team too fast. He is not ready.

“He is a big talent, but he must play in the correct moments. To play at Under-23 is the standard he needs, against seniors.”

Owls duo Sam Hutchinson and Fernando Forestieri this week signed new deals to commit their futures to Wednesday.

Both players are key for the club, and Carvalhal is excited about the future.

“It is very good news; we are trying to build a solid team with players that will be here for years,” he said.

“We want to create a good vibe, these two players belong to this family. They have value, ambition and can do well in the future.

“These players are not the type who are happy because they have signed a contract.

“Their personalties mean they want more, push the club, win games.

“That’s very important to the future because I think we have a player base of good value for the next three or four years.”