Under-23 captain Christian Marques described the development squad as ‘special’ after securing promotion to the top-flight of youth football after a stunning second half to the 2021/22 Premier League 2 season.
The Portuguese defender was not part of the opening months of the PL2 Division 2 campaign as he was out on loan with Belenenses SAD in the Primeira Liga, and although his time away from Wolves might not have gone as well as he would have hoped, he was pleased to have been given the chance to return to James Collins’ squad – inspiring the team to just one league defeat since the turn of the year and a promotion to Division 1 thanks to Monday night’s play-off final win against Stoke City.
On lifting the play-off trophy
“It was incredible. After the West Brom cup game, we felt a bit disappointed because we didn’t win, because we had the chance to win two trophies this season.
“I thought since Christmas we were outstanding, we have a really good group, a really good coach and we’re absolutely buzzing to win.
“It was unbelievable to be fair. It’s just the opportunity James [Collins] gave me after a few hard months out on loan, not being where I wanted to be, but I came back, I just tried to get my head down, just keep playing, playing, playing and I’m just grateful for James as well.”
Full time scenes 🏆🆙 pic.twitter.com/KkmcEJI8Ey— Wolves Academy (@WolvesAcademy) May 24, 2022
On a comfortable final win
“I’m not going to lie, we felt a bit tired. We had two games of 120 minutes in a week, but today, we scored the two goals, we dominated the first-half and then in the second-half, sometimes we had to dig in, but we defended really, really well.
“Well done to the team, I think we deserved that win. It was hard and we’ve had a hard few games, and a tough two games now, but I think this whole group deserved that win.”
On leading a tight-knit group
“It’s a really special group. I’ve known these players since I was here at 16. It’s been three years and I’ve been with Cundle since I was 16, with Chem since I was 16, with Hugo [Bueno], with TP.
“There are a few new faces, for example Harvey [Griffiths], but we just stick to our plan, we know what we’re doing and that’s why we got promoted.”
💪 Captain Marques 💪 pic.twitter.com/M2sXwRLwxJ— Wolves Academy (@WolvesAcademy) May 24, 2022
On stunning form since the new year
“It’s the gaffer and what he said. He knows how he wants to play and we just stick to the plan that he says to us. He knows the strengths that we’ve got, he knows the weaknesses that we’ve got and I think he’s changed us, not that we’ve changed him.
“James changed us and the way that we play, how we have to defend, how brave he wants us to be, so we have to give credit to James and to Sean [Parrish] and the whole backroom staff. It’s because of them.
“If you’ve got James and he tells us that he wants us to play, he wants us to be brave, and then when you’ve got players like Cundle, like Chem [Campbell], Lee [Harkin], TP [Taylor Perry] and everyone up there, it just becomes easy to play and it’s helped us massively.”
On his PL2 Division 1 experiences
“I’ve had the experience of playing in Premier League 2 Division 1, and I think the teams over there are much better than these ones.
“You’ve got Man City, you’ve got everyone over there, so I think it’s going to be tough, but I still think we have quality. It depends on what next season is going to happen, if players stay here or if players go on loan, but I think we will be ready for next season.”