Persistence was imperative for Matt Doherty, who overcame multiple unsuccessful trials to reach Wolves.
Loan moves helped mould him into the attacking wing-back on show at Molineux today, but Doherty looks back fondly on his route to the Premier League.
THE TRIAL PERIOD
Bohemian | 2009/10
At no point did I think the dream was dead, so I expected to get a chance, but whether I took it or not was a different story. When I was 15 or 16 I went on a lot of trials, sometimes I try and think of all the clubs and can’t remember, so I’ll have to ask my dad to get a list together. I just wasn’t performing, and I knew it myself. It’s not easy to go on trial when you’re that age, going into their under-18s and trying to impress. It’s like going from the Championship to Premier League, it’s a different level, the speed takes time to get used to and you have a week to do it. I didn’t perform and do myself justice at the time. I always felt I was good enough to go over to England, but you have to perform for them to take you and I didn’t manage to do it until I was 18.
IMPRESSING THE PACK
Bohemian vs Wolves | 17th July 2010
My dad always said, even after the trials and I was playing locally, to do what I can because you never know who is watching. That was obviously the case when Wolves came into town. I wasn’t part of the first team at Bohemian, but it was the reserves who played Wolves. It was pre-season and I didn’t even play that well. I played about 55 minutes against Matt Jarvis, but at the time he was tearing it up. I did alright, just normal, nothing to make me stand out, but for some reason they gave me a trial. At the trial I played better, but I don’t know why they signed me, they must have seen something. I haven’t seen it back so maybe I’m doing myself an injustice.
SCOTTISH CUP FINALIST
Hibernian | 2012
I went to Hibs and the manager I had in Ireland with Bohemians was the Hibs manager, so he took me on loan from Wolves. I played there and got to the Scottish Cup final, we lost, but it was a good experience.
Bury | 2012/13
I went to Bury and Kevin Blackwell, who is assistant at Cardiff now, was manager and that was a really good loan spell for me. I really enjoyed my time there, I absolutely loved it. I really grew up there, he’s a really good coach Kevin Blackwell. They’re the experiences you have when you’re on loan. You realise what you really want. You realise you like the training ground at Wolves, everything is nice, you’ve got everything set up for you. I think a loan is meant to make you realise where you really want to be.
THE WOLVES JOURNEY
Wolves | 2010-Present
I came back from Bury and Stale Solbakken had just been sacked so Dean Saunders was manager. I played the last 15 games of that season and got relegated to League One, which was awful to be a part of. Then in League One I got injured halfway through the season, so I didn’t play for half of the season. We got promoted and I managed to get myself back in the team in the Championship. I played until Christmas, got sent off and I didn’t play for a year and a half. Dominic Iorfa came in and it took me 18 months to come back in at left-back. It was only last season I moved back to the right, so I’ve been through it all here.