Danny Batth today declared that the Wolves players are “excited” by the step-up to the Sky Bet Championship and are keen to pit their wits against the higher opposition.
The 23-year-old defender, Wolves’ only league ever-present from the League One title success, has played at the level before but is now relishing the chance to aim for a more sustained run in the team once the season gets underway.
Having picked up a title-winning medal last season, for Batth it is now all about “rising to the challenge” of the next stage of his burgeoning career.
“I really enjoyed last season like I am sure we all did,” he says.
“But that has gone now - we’re looking forward to what is to come.
“We’ve all seen the fixtures and are excited by it and the challenge of providing ourselves in the Championship and show how far we have come as a team.
“It’s less than six weeks away now and will soon come around and the lads are keen to get as fit as possible to be ready.
“What happened last season is all in the locker now and you have to take the good bits from that, build from it, and see how far we can go.
“Everyone always wants to the best they can be and that is what we all aspire to.
“We’re going to be coming up against better opposition and will want to rise to that challenge and showcase what we can do.
“Hopefully it can bring the best out of us and we can give the fans another enjoyable season.”
On the challenge posed by the second tier Batth adds: “There are a lot of experienced players in the Championship and also players who know the league and have played in there for a long time.
“But hopefully other teams will be looking at Wolves and thinking that after last season we have got something good going on here.
“We need to make it that everyone knows they are going to have a tough game when they play against Wolves.
“Collectively I think we are all here to try and achieve something at Wolves so it’s a challenge we are all keen to take on in the Championship.
“The gaffer will be sitting us down and telling us the goals for the season and we will then set off and try and achieve them.
“I think it will be an interesting season and hopefully we can hit the ground running and get off to a good start.”
In pursuit of that aim of a good season Batth is particularly pleased to see another two chunks of last season’s Molineux Mean Machine – Carl Ikeme and Richard Stearman – put pen to paper on new contracts this summer as well as goalscoring midfielder Dave Edwards.
And he believes the arrival of new signings Tommy Rowe and Rajiv van La Parra will also add to the competition within the squad.
“Good players need to be kept at the club if possible and I think the gaffer has done that brilliantly by rewarding the lads who did well last season,” said Batth.
“Eddo made a big impact with some excellent performances towards the back end of last season and likewise Kemes and Stears were outstanding.
“With Kemes and Stears also being in that back five I think the three of us have formed a tight partnership on and off the pitch.
“I think that shows in that when we are up against it on the pitch that we can stick together and bail each other out.
“Those new contracts should be a good coup for the club and help with some solid foundations for the season ahead.
“It’s also good to see a couple of new lads joining the club to see how they get on and I am sure it will increase the competition for places which is always important.
“It keeps everyone on their toes and makes sure everyone is raring to go for the new season.”
Work has stepped up to try and ensure that all are fully prepared for the big kick-off against Norwich on August 10th, with triple training sessions this week to start building up strength and fitness.
“All the lads have done a bit over the summer so that we come back in decent shape and ready for pre-season,” says Batth.
“Then it’s a case of getting stuck into all the fitness work led by Dales (Tony Daley) and the football with the gaffer and Joe (Gallen).
“Pre-season is always a tough time and would be even if you were fully match fit.
“But it’s all about good preparation and building for the season to make sure we are all ready for what lies ahead.
“It’s always good to get back and see the lads again – there’s a good camaraderie around the squad and everyone gets on off the pitch as well.
“That will help us get through pre-season but also keep us together when the season gets underway as well.”