*Scott Sellars is delighted to have landed the vital role at Wolves
*Sellars arrives with plenty of experience of youth football after heading up the Academy coaching at Manchester City
*The new Under-21 coach has been impressed with the structure at Wolves and aims of consistency throughout all levels of the club
The focus on the 18-21-year-old age group has become more and more important in football in recent years, viewed as a crucial stage in bridging the gap between the Academy and the first team.
Players are generally making senior debuts later than in previous years, and being given more time to develop rather than being discarded at 18 when perhaps not yet the finished article.
As a result, Wolves are delighted to have landed former Manchester City Academy Manager Scott Sellars as the club’s new Under-21s Head Coach.
Sellars, who graced the Premier League as a player with the likes of Blackburn, Newcastle and Leeds, is charged with the development of that crucial age group through their training programme and fixtures, against the cream of the crop in the Barclays Under-21 League.
On top of that however, Head Coach Kenny Jackett believes the new Under-21s chief will have plenty to offer all of his backroom staff via his experience and expertise, with the other age groups below the 21’s also set to benefit.
And all of that complements the structure now in place at Wolves, and the aim of providing a consistency and continuity of approach and playing style all the way through from Academy to first team.
Sellars says of his new position: “I was delighted to get the opportunity to take this role on and working at Under-21 level is something that I wanted to do.
“To work at a club like Wolves is a great opportunity and a challenge I am going to enjoy.
“I was impressed at the interview about how the club is trying to be connected through all the levels and that a lot of thought has gone into it.
“It is similar to Manchester City where we had a philosophy and a style of play and a consistency that didn’t change from six all the way up to the first team.
“I think it is really important that if you want to do things properly there is that real connection between all levels of the football club.
“There are too many clubs I have been at where there is no communication or relationship between the different departments and whenever the manager changes, he may bring in a new style of play and change all the players around.
“To be connected really helps the football club and helps continuity, and I can see here a very connected club with a philosophy of how they want to do it.
“It’s not separated - it’s one club, and that is really helpful.
“You see the first team players every day at the training ground which we didn’t see at Manchester City and everyone has been really friendly since I have been here.
“It’s a really positive environment to work in and improve.”
Sellars spent five years with Manchester City, ultimately heading up the Academy coaching set-up and creating a consistent philosophy at a team crowned as Premier League champions twice in the last three years.
Prior to that he worked as Under-18s manager at Sheffield United, bringing through players such as Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton, while he has also had a spell at senior level as assistant manager with Chesterfield.
Having enjoyed much of his time at the City of Manchester Stadium, Sellars is now relishing a new challenge and continuing along the path of coaching which always interested him during his own time as a player.
“Some senior players had an influence on me when I was a young player coming through and I always felt that I was someone who would watch the younger lads train and pass on some advice if I could,” he explains.
“I always wanted to stay in football and just wasn’t quite sure whether I wanted to try and stay involved at first team level or Academy.
“I have done a bit of both and I think I am good at developing young players which is probably my key strength and what I am looking to bring here.
“In terms of football I learned a lot at Man City.
“I think all clubs are different to Man City and they are a one-off at the moment.
“Man City is a big club which has been transformed by a lot of money but behind all that there are a lot of good business-people who recognise it is not just about football.
“It expanded unbelievably even during the time I was there and there was a lot of good stuff that went on and other bits I found difficult to deal with.
“I look at Wolves as a club that through all the years I have been involved in Academy football, they have always been respected.
“The first team has maybe been up and down but the Academy has always been consistent with what it does and with the people as well.
“I have seen what the first team did last year and what they tried to put in place with the younger players that this is a good place to come and work as a coach who wants to develop homegrown players.
“With a lot of young players you never really know how good they are until you give them the opportunity.
“I have seen that in my career at Sheffield United with people like Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton who came through at that time.
“You never really know how they will emerge but they came through and did really well and carried on from there.
“It’s the same everywhere, and the hardest thing for young players in this country at the moment is getting the opportunity.
“If you want to test them more than maybe they are at Under-21 level at the moment then that is where the loan system works better.”
Sellars, who started work last week along with new Under-18s coach Rob Edwards, also views the exchange of knowledge and experience within a club’s coaching set-up as invaluable.
“I am looking to learn as well,” he adds.
“My football has been spent mostly in Academies as well as a little bit of first team and 21s.
“I am learning to learn a lot, from Kenny who has been a manager for a lot of years.
“I know Rob well from Manchester City and hopefully bits I have learned I can pass on to the Academy coaches rather just sit in my office as the Under-21s coach.
“I have already watched some of the Academy training in the evenings and I can already see there are a lot of good, honest people who want to get it going.
“I think it’s just a bit like when I went to Manchester City in that it just needs pulling together and directing a little bit and hopefully with my experience I can help that process.
“The club have done a great job in getting Category One status and that gives our boys the opportunity to play against the very best.
“That is great to challenge the lads and sometimes you learn more by failing against the top players.
“Or you can come up against a really top player and think you have done better than him which can be great for confidence.
“All the best players are not necessarily at the top clubs and a lot come through from other clubs as has been shown by the current England team.
“It is important to give the kids the opportunities, to educate them well, and hopefully that will take them through to become first team players.”
*Wolves meanwhile have signed Connor Hunte who has joined the Under-21 group at the club.
The 17-year-old attacking midfielder has previously been with the Chelsea Academy, and first played for their Under-21 side at the age of 15.
He is also an England Under-17 international.