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New Academy Under-18 Coach Named

Wolves are delighted to confirm the appointment of Darren Ryan as the new Academy Under-18s coach.

Darren, who enjoyed a successful spell looking after the Under-18s during the final months of last season, has worked his way up through the Academy coaching ranks having started out many years ago on a part-time basis.

After a thorough recruitment process carried out during the close season, he has now been confirmed in the position permanently as the Under-18s step up preparation for the new season.

"The recruitment process was very strong and in many respects it was a really nice problem to have,” said Academy manager Gareth Prosser, pictured with Darren.

“We have had to turn away some very good people and that is always difficult but we felt it was right to give Darren the opportunity, and ultimately in our eyes he is the best man for the job.

“We are all delighted that Darren now has this opportunity to show what he can do on a sustained basis.

“He did well in the position last year when the Under-18s enjoyed an impressive spell of results and performances and, having had that good finish to the season, hopefully he can now drive it on and, with the support of the staff and players, keep that momentum going.

“Darren has been with us for a number of years, having initially started as a part-time member of staff, when he was working with the likes of Niall Ennis and Ryan Leak with our Under-12s.

“He then progressed through to the Under-16s, supported Scott (Sellars) with the Under-23s, and took on the Under-18s role.

“To some extent it is like a player coming through the Academy and progressing to the first team.

“Sometimes that can also happen with staff and that is evident by a number of staff who have impressed and made progress with the Academy whilst at the club.

“We have a strong coach development programme in place, led by Steve Burns, with support from Marc Campbell, and that, along with other support from staff like Scott, Seyi (Olofinjana) and Lesley Matile, has helped Darren progress to a position where he now has this opportunity.

“Darren now has that responsibility to continue the excellent traditions of bringing players through to the first team but that is a challenge he will relish.

“On or off the field, there is pressure on all of us to ensure the programme runs as efficiently as it can to give the players the best possible support.

“As standards get higher, and with the club’s determination to strive for Premier League football, we have to make sure we keep up with those standards."

Darren’s lengthy playing career included turning out in the EFL for Shrewsbury Town, Chester City, Stockport County and Rochdale, whilst he has also enjoyed extensive experience in coaching at management at senior level, including four-and-a-half years as manager of Newtown in the League of Wales.

His spell in charge of the Under-18s last season saw the squad win the Merit League in impressive fashion with a game to spare.