New lease of life at Wednesday for Ireland’s Kieren Westwood

Sheffield Wednesday’s summer signing Kieran Westwood is proving to be a star man for the club. The 30-year-old Republic of Ireland international was signed from Sunderland for a free transfer, ending a fairly miserable spell at the Stadium of Light.

He started last season as first choice keeper but an injury in November ruled him out for the rest of the season. Westwood only made 19 Premier League appearances after joining Sunderland in 2011, but perhaps the Black Cats are regretting letting him go especially after the poor displays Vito Mannone has put in this season.


For Westwood however, the move to Hillsborough has brought a new lease of life to the Irish stopper. His incredible man-of-the-match display against Norwich last weekend has proven the worth of a top goalkeeper at this level. This is just one of several fantastic performances he has put in so far this season, winning points single handily.

Westwood first became a regular starter at Carlisle United who he joined in 2004. He became first choice keeper the following season in League Two and remained so until leaving the club in 2008. It was the key role he played in Carlisle’s League One play-off campaign in 2007/08 which brought about a move to the Championship with Coventry City.

He was arguably Coventry’s best player for each of the three seasons he was at the club, winning the player of the year award in 2010. His debut season for the Sky Blues saw him named in the Championship PFA team of the year in 2009 with some excellent performances throughout. Without Westwood, Coventry could well have been relegated way before finally doing so in 2012.

Sunderland snapped him up for a free transfer in 2011 and after initially impressing in the opening half of his debut season for the club; Simon Mignolet replaced him for the rest of the Belgium keeper’s stay at the club. Westwood won back the number one jersey after Mignolet left in 2013 but after an extremely impressive start, a shoulder injury ruled him out for the rest of the season and he never played again for Sunderland.

This spell at Sheffield Wednesday is a chance for Westwood to re-invent himself following a long layoff and get some first team football under his belt again. The truth is a keeper with the abilities Westwood possess is too good for this level but he needs to be able to prove it which he is definitely doing so far this season.

He can also use this opportunity at Sheffield Wednesday to win back a Premier League move if that cannot be achieved at Wednesday. He will look to continue to play a key role in their side and how he performs will be crucial to Wednesday’s fortunes this season.

After being out for so long, he is yet to win back the number one shirt for the Republic of Ireland but that will surely change if he continues to put in the performances such as the one against Norwich. Kieran Westwood is showing himself to be the top goalkeeper and a key player in the Championship this season.

The Author

Iqbal Johal

Coventry City fan since 1999, loves football and has a keen interest in journalism.

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