Under 18s Win Merit League

The Wolves Under 18s confirmed the Merit League title with one game to spare as they beat Newcastle United last weekend.

The victory wins marks an unbelievable turnaround for the Under 18s which has seen Darren Ryan’s side win five out of six games having not won a game since September prior to that.

Two goals from Brad Carr and an own-goal clinched the game 3-1 and secured the title for the Under 18s.

Ryan says he is pleased for everyone involved, he’s giving all of the credit to his players.

“The lads have been great, they've got to take the credit the recent performances - for the last two months they have been outstanding, their attitude and application has been first-class,” Ryan began.

“They knew that if they got the result against Newcastle, that would clinch the Merit league and I’m really pleased for them because the hard work that they put in, they've got their just rewards for it.

“I’m really pleased for the players and also the staff as well - we’ve all worked very hard over the last two months and we’ve won the league and that’s down to that hard work.

“We had a meeting before the Merit league started and we let the players decide their target - they came up with the points target that they wanted to hit and since then they've just grown in confidence.

“There’s just been a belief there that they're playing well, they're training well - I could see in the weeks leading up to the games that they were really confident.

“As staff, we would take a step back and let the players take more and more responsibility - we’ve always felt confident that we were going to perform and win games.

The Under 18s have one final game of the season, a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Ryan admits that he will be giving some of the younger players a chance to perform in their final game as well as giving his assistant Dan Copnall a opportunity to take charge.

He said, “It’s a great environment to be around - to win the league with a game left is a fantastic achievement.

“We are going to look towards next season regarding the team this weekend and probably play an Under 17s team going into the game against Brighton.

“It gives an opportunity to the lads that are going to be scholars and the first year scholars to have an opportunity, those who probably haven't been involved in recent weeks.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to have a look for next season and we’re giving an opportunity to Dan Copnall to lead the team this week as well with my support, for his development as well.

“It’s great for the players but it’s good for the staffs as well - Dan Copnall will get a chance to lead the team on Saturday.”

Having been in charge for seven games, Ryan says he has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of taking his own group.

He says he’s taken what he’s learnt from being part of the Under 23s coaching staff, and filtered that down to the Under 18s.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Under 18s so far, it’s been a great experience - I’ve taken thing that I’ve learnt from Scott (Sellars) and Seyi (Olofinjana), things that I’ve learnt with this ‘23s and I’ve filtered that down to the ‘18s,” he concluded.

“Nothing has changed from what I’ve learnt with the ‘23s and it’s worked, the lads know when they step up to the ‘23s what is expected of them from Scott.

“I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s been a pleasure to work with the players but they've got to take the credit - the players have worked really hard over the last two months and they've got to take the credit for the results and finishing top of the league.”