With just under a week to go before the players return for pre-season training, development coach Steve Weaver has already been in at Compton Park in preparation for the return of his charges.
Steve was delighted that his team reached the elite stage of the inaugural under 21’s League season, and he is now looking at some of the players stepping up to senior level.
He said: “Obviously the new manager is going to want to take a look at some of the older lads in the development squad - the likes of Jack Price, Liam McAlinden, Zeli Ismail, Lee Evans and Michael Ihiekwe amongst others.
“The nucleus of last season’s development squad should still be available but, to be fair to the players I’ve just mentioned, it’s time for them to step up although, if they’re not involved either here or elsewhere at first team level, then they can still play for me.
“Last season’s development squad are all still eligible to play for the under 21s but I think it’s important that they get the taste of working with and around the first team squad because the majority of the group that played for me last season are ready for first team football.
“The new lads coming in this summer are Dominic Iorfa, David Moli, Jack Kellerman and Jon Flatt as well as Robbie Parry who was involved quite a lot last season anyway. Sam Winnall and Johnny Gorman have both left the club and David Davis is now very much regarded as a first team squad member.
“I think it will be a smaller group as first team demands and possible loan deals will have an effect. I know it’s been said before but whilst the standard of under 21 football last season was very high, there is no substitute for senior soccer whether it be here at Wolves or out on loan.
“Ethan Ebanks Landell is a good example. He spent a lot of last season in Bury’s first team and you could see the benefit that it was to his game when he returned even though Bury did struggle. There is no substitute for experience.”
At the moment, the under 21s have pre-season friendly games pencilled in, against Burnley and Birmingham with provision for more. Full details will be announced when finalised.
Weaver adds: “I think that last season, everyone saw the advantage of having a settled under 21 squad – the players did well individually but also as a team because they trained together and played together.
“It was great for us to finish in the top eight last season and obviously it would be good to improve on that come the new season. But, as a coach, the goal for me is to see the group of players that were with me last season to move on and play senior football.”