Wolves under-23s goalkeeper Jamie Pardington admits that he is still “living a dream” whilst playing for the club.
Pardington, who joined Wolves in 2018 from Southern Premier Central outfit Rushall Olympic, has expressed his admiration for first-team goalkeepers Rui Patricio and John Ruddy, and of the valuable experienced gained while training at Compton.
“It still feels like I am living a dream really,” said Pardington. “Going from a semi-professional club to Wolves, it is still a bit surreal with playing at such a high standard of football.
“John Ruddy is a nice guy and he is always helping me out in training, pulling me to one side and having a chat with me. He is a top-class professional, he gives so much advice and I have learned a lot from him.
“Patricio doesn’t speak that much English, but I used to watch him in the gym and watch all the extra things that he does on the pitch and you can’t beat it really – Rui is one of the best goalkeepers in the world in my opinion and you get to watch him up close.
“Just watching them and training with them is an unreal experience. The first time that I was told that I would be training with the first-team, I was eating my breakfast and I couldn’t take another bite – I think my stomach was just starting to go.
“When you get on that training pitch and see everyone, it never goes, and it is quite eye-opening to see that you have nearly made it and that you feel like it is so close when you stand next to some of these players.
“Experience-wise, it is just extraordinary, and that is why I take every day with a smile – being at Wolves has changed me a player.”
With time in youth football coming to an early end due to the current pandemic, Pardington revealed a few details of his lockdown routine, as well as the type of training that he has been conducting.
Pardington said: “It is really tough mentally and physically because you haven’t got the same facilities or the same people to talk to every day.
“Other than that, it is just about keeping myself fit, but it is quite challenging not being able to walk out on a pitch every day and with not being able to do the same routine as you always do.
“We have our running programme – we are running three or four times a week and they have given us an app to record it on for them to see if you are doing the right stuff.
“We also have upper-body sessions and leg-strengthening sessions which we can do every day and we have to record that and send it off to them.
“The programmes are there to make sure that we are able to remain fit for when we can go back.”
By Devon Cash, University of Derby, football journalism student