Midfielder Lee Evans admits it would “mean everything” to make his league debut for Wolves at Preston as he prepares to try and cement his place in training this week.
Evans, who turned 19 last week, has enjoyed an impressive pre-season and once again turned in a confident performance as Wolves were beaten 3-2 by Real Betis on Saturday.
He is now hoping to continue to impress this week in a bid to start Kenny Jackett’s first competitive fixture as Wolves Head Coach as the Sky Bet League One campaign kicks off at Deepdale on Saturday (3pm).
“I feel ready, I feel confident and I can’t wait for the season to start now,” says Evans.
“It will mean everything to me to play at Preston – that’s what I’ve been aiming to do with everything I’ve done in pre-season, that’s why I’m here, that’s why I train every day, to play in the big games and I want to play as many league games as possible.
“The new gaffer came in at the start of the season and everyone has been looking to impress him.
“I worked hard over the summer, kept myself fit and wanted to catch his eye as much as possible from the start of pre-season.
“The gaffer and Joe (Gallen) have been really good to me – all they have said to me is ‘go out and play your natural game’.
“That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to get on the ball as much as possible, trying to dictate play.
“It was hard against Real Betis because you don’t get much of the ball and when you get it, you have to try to keep it, to give ourselves a rest.
“But they have just said to me to play my game and I’m trying to impress them.”
Evans joined Wolves from Newport in January and was a regular for the Under-21s as they did battle with some of the country’s top players in the Elite Stage of the League over the second half of the season.
Now he is one of many younger talents being handed an opportunity by Jackett, and he believes the club now boast a promising mix of youth and experience.
“It feels like I’m getting old now I’m 19!” says Evans.
“It’s good having the youngsters around – you need the older heads as well which we’ve got in Richard Stearman and the two keepers and Leigh Griffiths, who has just had a great season.
“It’s good learning from everyone but we’re still gelling as a group and hopefully we’ll gel even more by the time we go to Deepdale on Saturday.
“I think we’re in a good place at the moment.
“We’ve had a very good pre-season with Saturday being our only defeat, but we’ll take that, especially as it was against a La Liga team.
“It was hard work but it was a good test before Preston on Saturday.
“For me, having come from senior football in the Conference and going into the Under-21s set-up was a bit different last season.
“I enjoyed it playing against the big clubs but I want to play first-team football – that’s the plan now.”