Kenny Jackett has highlighted the leadership qualities of new signing and captain Sam Ricketts as he revealed it was his aim to bring in a new skipper.
The 31-year-old Ricketts, who has played at all levels of the English leagues and is a regular Welsh international, has been handed the armband to try and help Wolves recover from back-to-back relegations by enjoying a successful season in League One under new Head Coach Jackett.
With the squad likely to be heavily popularised by younger players next season, they are more likely to need to focus on their own performances leaving Ricketts to exert his influence and leadership amid a competitive schedule.
“Appointing my own captain from the outside was something I looked for and it’s someone I know very well and have done so for a number of years,” says Jackett.
“And from Sam’s point of view I feel he’s ready now to take on the role of captain of Wolves.
“I feel very confident in him in terms of him being ready and it helping him develop as a person with that responsibility and also help his game.
“He’s a good organiser and he knows the game – he’s played right the way across the back four.
“He has both the stature and the ability to bring the ball out from centre half and is comfortable in both full back positions.
“He’s very level headed and this is a new challenge for him and the next chapter. He’s genuinely excited by that.
"I did feel I needed a captain and my own captain.
“Different people have filled the role and this is a decision I feel very comfortable with.
“In terms of the first signing- and the captain - it’s a good signing for me personally to sign somebody who I know and also know can organise.”
Ricketts is able to play in all positions across the centre of defence, an added string to his bow in terms of being able to influence both his colleagues and those in front of him on the pitch.
“He’s played more games at full-back in his career, but he’s genuinely two-footed,” added Jackett.
“He’s one of the most two-footed players I’ve ever seen.
“I’d think he’s played most of his football at left-back but he’s very comfortable at left-sided centre-half and right-back as well.”
With the first new face having checked in this summer, work continues both on trying for more and assessing interest in the club’s current personnel from outside.
But at this stage, Jackett has confirmed there is no fresh interest in either Bakary Sako or Kevin Doyle, and the quartet available for transfer – Karl Henry, Stephen Ward, Jamie O’Hara and Roger Johnson.
“It’s very quiet on all fronts in terms of outgoings,” he says.
“There haven’t been any developments.”
Jackett will today announce his squad for next week’s trip to Scotland, set to include Sako and Doyle but not the four players available for transfer.
“Those lads are training with the Under-21 group and they’re Wolves players and we’ll treat them properly and with respect,” he said.
“What happens now and in the future we’ll have to see.
“Is there a club out there that they want to go to or one that wants them?
“We have the player’s position and the club’s position to consider, but we need a third party now.
“They’re still training and they’re still being paid.
“There are no problems with their timekeeping or work – it’s a pre-season period and they have got their heads down and worked at getting fit and staying fit.
“In terms of what happens in the future, I don’t know, but my focus is on the Scotland trip, looking forward to the games.
“By the end of today, we’ll have completed two weeks and I want to get through this period and push the players with three sessions a day with the minimal amount of injuries.”