Kenny Jackett believes skipper Samuel Ricketts has the ability and professionalism to play at a high level for many years to come.
The 32-year-old, already with over 500 career appearances to his name, was a key figure on and off the pitch in Wolves’ Sky Bet League One triumph last season, having arrived – and taken the captain’s armband – at the start of the season.
Jackett sees Ricketts as another key player this season, and indeed also potentially well beyond the expiry of his current Wolves contract next summer.
“It (contract) is something we’ll certainly consider as we go along in terms of what he can bring and how long he can play,” said the Head Coach of his captain.
“I’ve got no worries about the fact he’s 32 – he’s a very fit lad who looks after himself.
“In terms of his contractual situation, I fully expect him to play on and play on at a very good level for many years to come.
“He’s not missed many games at all and if you look through his career, he’s only had one serious injury, to his Achilles.
“Since then he’s recovered well and come here and looked after himself.
“I think his form will be fine and he’ll handle the Championship and have a big effect.
“In terms of his contract, I have no worries about him going forward and playing well into his 30s.
“He came out of non-league, he’s naturally fit, and he doesn’t carry any weight.
“His style may alter through his 30s because as a young player and even now, he’s very athletic and very naturally fit.
“As he goes through now, his game may change with experience, but we’ll see.
“But even so he has very good experience and I think he’s capable of playing right the way through his 30s.”
Ricketts will again captain Wolves this season, and Jackett believes will retain the same level of ambition and determination as throughout his career so far.
“He will stay as captain; he was a key player and a key person at the club,” Jackett added.
“I think he was ready to move on after a few years at Bolton and he was ready to come into this club in that role fresh and have that type of input.
“I think he’ll have an input this season; in terms of the Championship, he’ll know it very well and his experience will be invaluable.
“Like every player, you’ve got to come back in the new season and prove your worth.
“There’s only so much that last season will hold up for any of us, myself included.
“So it’s time to really get your head down, do the work so by the time the Norwich game kicks off, you’re ready.
“I expect Sam to have a similar effect again.”