Academy goalkeeping trio head out on loan

Wolves Academy goalkeepers Joe Young, Jackson Smith and Joe O’Shaughnessy will spend the remainder of the 2021/22 season on loan at Matlock Town, Kettering Town and Hednesford Town respectively.

Young had a successful six-month stint at Runcorn Linnets in the opening half of the campaign, with the 19-year-old being an almost ever-present between the sticks and impressed with a several key performances for the Northern Premier League Division One West side.

The Telford native, who has been on Wolves’ books for more than a decade, is now taking a step up to the seventh tier of English football as he joins Matlock for the remainder of the season.

Matt Jackson, Wolves’ strategic player marketing manager, said: “Joe has taken a step up the football pyramid having responded really well at Runcorn in the first part of the season and this progression to a higher level is another opportunity for him to test himself again.

“Development for goalkeepers tends to be a little bit slower than for outfield players because there are fewer opportunities, which means they sometimes have to go lower down the pyramid. But they still get the same exposure to senior football and all the challenges that brings.

”Scott Fry has worked really hard to develop the goalkeeper network. We then liaise with Tony Roberts to take the best opportunities for career progression for the boys.

Smith, who has progressed through every stage of the Academy having joined when he was just eight-years-old, joined Kettering on an initial six-month loan in the summer, but has impressed enough for the National League North side to extend his deal until the end of the season.

“Jackson has had his time at Kettering extended, which is great for him and demonstrates how impressed they have been with him in the first part of the season,” Jackson added.

“He had a challenge to get into the team and then hold the shirt, but this competition for places is something we love for our players, because in football, you have to prove yourselves and prove your consistency every week. He’s done that, and we’re pleased he has the opportunity to maximise his senior football for the rest of the season.”

Having put pen to paper on a new contract with Wolves ahead of his first loan spell away from the club, O’Shaughnessy is not moving too far from Molineux, as he joins Hednesford until the end their Southern League Premier Division Central campaign.