Kenny Jackett believes new Wolves coaches Scott Sellars and Rob Edwards will help the club in its aim to “compete with the very best” in terms of producing young players.
Sellars, previously Head of Academy coaching with Manchester City, has taken the reins at Under-21 level while former Wolves defender Rob Edwards has returned to the club to land his first permanent coaching position with the Under-18s.
Jackett sees both roles as crucial in terms of Wolves, set to open the new £6million Academy facility later this summer, aims to continue to produce a steady stream of homegrown talent.
“Scott’s appointment is an exciting one for us and we feel as a club he’s bringing in a lot of experience in that department and can add to our coaching staff," said Head Coach Jackett.
“The Under-21 coach is at the top of the pyramid really and is a key job.
“It’s hard now for Under-18s to go straight into a first team – physically there seems such a gap now.
“You might get one or two manage it but there aren’t that many now.
“Because of the physical aspect of football now and sports science really developing and coming on, it’s hard for an 18-year-old to compete with a 21-year-old now and seems to be happening less and less.
“Right the way through we’ve got to make sure the players can bridge that gap.
“Scott is very experienced in development football and his title and role at Manchester City was very much head of coaching development.
“We feel he’ll help us and we’ll all learn a lot from him becomes he comes with a wide and varied experience of Under-21 football.
“He worked very hard at City to bring on quite a number of young players.
“Picking the right players, developing them and encouraging them is a big thing.
“I’m sure he can teach all of us something about the development of young players and cementing that link between Under-18 and Under-21 football, which has changed so much over the last few years with the game getting so much more powerful and athletic.”
Edwards arrives back at Wolves having spent much of the last year working on a voluntary basis with both the club’s Academy and at Manchester City.
Jackett believes the focus now is all about providing a consistency and continuity through all levels of the Academy and up to the first team.
“Rob comes in as a 31-year-old in his first coaching job and is keen to learn and very enthusiastic,” he says.
“He’s an ex-Wolves player and is very well thought of having played here for four years.
“I think he’ll pick it up very quickly with the Under-18s and be able to bring a fresh enthusiasm into that group.”
“If you’re looking from Kevin Thelwell (head of football development) to myself and then the Under-21s and Under-18s, and then right the way through, there are certain basic principles you’d want to run the whole way through.
“It’s important everyone’s on the same page.
“That’s the role Kevin has - to stand back and look at the whole picture and make sure it’s working right the way through and the players are progressing through the groups.
“The aim would be for the teams to play a similar way.
“Formations can change, but mainly they’ll try to play the same.
“The principles of playing it out on the floor and playing out from the back will be there, with a big responsibility towards fitness and sports science being as strong as competitive as you can right the way through.
“We should test these guys physically right the way through in exactly the same way.
“In the end you’re looking for a product that’s good enough in what’s a competitive market.
“But we have the facilities here and it’s a fantastic club with the fanbase and tradition – we have to make sure we can compete with the best.”