"Off the pitch I am a fairly quiet character but when I am on the pitch playing my football I come out of my shell" Connor Ronan
Connor Ronan says a new contract and first team won’t change either his hunger or his personality – and now it’s on to the next target.
The affable midfielder has followed up his senior debut as a substitute in the win at Nottingham Forest by putting pen to paper on a new two-and-a-half year contract with a further year’s option in Wolves’ favour.
Although only 18, Ronan’s performances show a real maturity, and he has captained the successful Wolves Under-23 side so far this season.
“It feels good to have signed the contract,” he says.
“I have been working towards getting a new one for a while.
“I came in this season with the mentality that I needed to work hard and impress if I was to earn a new contract.
“I am pleased with how I have done so far and pleased to have earned the contract.
“Now I have to keep going and working hard and look towards the next one.
“Ever since I arrived at the club I have been setting myself little goals.
“Initially it was to play for the Under-18s as a first year scholar and that happened fairly quickly.
“Then it was to play for the Under-23s, and score for the 23’s, and then I became captain as well.
“This season it was about trying to earn a new contract and maybe get a first team appearance, and now they have both come as well.
“So I now have to go again and aim to get a start for the first team between now and the end of the season.”
There is often talk with young players of needing to keep their feet on the floor, and not allow them to get carried away.
As Head Coach Paul Lambert has indicated, that is not expected to be any sort of issue for Ronan, who remains as down to earth as he is fiercely focused on becoming a regular in the Wolves side.
“I am quite a humble person,” says Ronan.
“Even when there are a lot of things going on around me like a debut and a contract, I just concentrate on doing what I am good at.
“And that is playing football and enjoying my football.
“If I am enjoying football then I will be playing well.
“Nothing changes for me – I could be playing 18s one week, 23s the next and then even in the first team, and I have to keep doing the same things and keeping the same attitude and mindset.
“Off the pitch I am a fairly quiet character but when I am on the pitch playing my football I come out of my shell.
“I enjoy being captain, leading the team and telling people what to do and making sure everything is as it should be.
“I enjoy that responsibility and feel I have taken it on well this year.
“The success has come from all of us in the Under-23s this year.
“It is a strange scenario now because I am enjoying that so much, and there are times when I leave the team to go with the first team.”
Ronan looked right at home in the senior arena in those closing minutes at the City Ground last weekend.
It also promoted a heartfelt message from his Dad Steven on Social Media in the evening, talking of the sacrifices made by the family and how, as parents, they felt their job was now done with the youngster playing some first team minutes for Wolves.
“Getting my first team debut has maybe come around a bit quickly,” says Ronan.
“The new gaffer has been looking to give young players a chance and the under-23s have been doing well this season.
“My main focus was to be helping the Under-23s finish as high in the league as possible and to play the very best I could to achieve that.
“My Dad really enjoyed it and he has made sacrifices as all my family have had to do.
“If my Dad was working late then my Mom would have to take me to training and so on, or my Grandparents.
“It is everyone – even friends that I have grown up playing football with – they have all supported me and sent me messages after the game.
“It is a massive thing for me to know that everyone is still looking out for me.
“Maybe I don’t need their guidance as much as I did when I was younger, but it means a lot to know that they are still there, and thinking about how I am doing.
“My little brother had been asking me for a while for a shirt.
“I’d been saying give me to the end of the season and I will do my best!
“It has come sooner than I thought and means a lot to me to be able to give my shirt to him and make my family proud.
“Hopefully there are plenty more shirts to come – that is the aim!“