Darren Ryan believes his Under-18s side are benefitting from a tough pre-season schedule and hopes they’ll reap the rewards come the start of the new season.
Ryan took his players to Holland for a training camp and, amidst friendlies against the likes of Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, has an Under-19s tournament in Germany also on the agenda.
Keen for Wolves’ young players to grow as people as well as players, Ryan is pleased with what he’s seen from his players during pre-season.
“We’re pleased with how pre-season is going,” he said. “We’ve focused on how the players behave individually and as a team. We want them to take more ownership.
“We looked at previous pre-seasons and thought we needed different types of games, so it’s a tough pre-season but they’re taking on board what we want to achieve this season.”
Ryan began pre-season with six days in Holland on a pre-season camp and felt it was beneficial to take the players out of their comfort zones.
“We had a pre-season camp in Holland which was really beneficial, both on the pitch and off it for the players to get to know each other more and the staff to get to know the players.
“Their application throughout the week was fantastic and it has been throughout pre-season. They’re working hard and are a good group.
“We went to an army camp which was a great experience. It wasn’t just physical work but also team building. The lads embraced the challenge.
“They’ve come back in good shape. You can see they’ve worked on the summer programmes and it’s been good to get away.”
Ryan has welcomed players from the younger age groups due to Nuno calling Under-23 players up to the first-team and is pleased with the message it sends out.
“We’ve lost four players to the Under-23s because Nuno has taken a few for the first-team which is fantastic so the players can see a pathway,” he added.