Richards joins Harrogate on loan

Wolves defender Lewis Richards will spend the second half of the 2021/22 season on loan at League Two side Harrogate Town.

The 20-year-old has been a popular figure among the Wolves under-23 ranks for the past three seasons, performing admirably for James Collins’ side, but he will now head out for his first taste of senior football.

A Republic of Ireland under-21 international, Richards initially joined Wolves as a 15-year-old from Brentford and has gone on to make almost 100 appearances in gold and black for the club’s under-18 and under-23 sides, with his performances earning him a place on the first-team bench over a dozen times, although he is yet to make his competitive debut.

Richards has shown plenty of versatility in his defensive roles, stepping out at both left centre-back and left wing-back for the development side, and Wolves’ strategic player marketing manager, Matt Jackson, believes the move to the EnviroVent Stadium will provide the defender with an understanding of what it takes to be part of an environment where there is pressure on winning week in, week out.

“It’s a very good move for Lewis,” Jackson said. “He’s been in under-23 football for a few years, but now he’s got the chance to take that next step and understand what playing three games a week and maybe six games a month is all about.

“These are all responsibilities that come with being a senior player, and they are exactly the lessons we want Lewis to learn, but he’s a great individual. He came up to us young and he’s been happy to commit to going somewhere which provides a real challenge, and we’re pleased that he has this opportunity.

“Harrogate have been excellent in having him go up there on a couple of occasions, so he’s already had a good look at them and they’ve had a good look at him, which is what we like to happen with our young players.

“He understands the environment is going to be a positive one for both himself and Harrogate and he’ll join them for the rest of the season, where he will hopefully get good exposure in League Two.”

Ahead of joining Harrogate, Richards put pen to paper on a new deal with Wolves to secure his future in gold and black.