Presentation: The Wolves Development Team
I guess you all have noticed that the Wolves Development Team beat the Blue Square North team Chasetown with 7-1 Tuesday?!
Seven goals from six different players. Not bad, eh? Last seasons low goal count will probably be better – if not in the immediate future – when these lads will take over the kicking.
As I said in the previous article about the Academy (HERE) the Development Team is the next step after the Wolves academy for our youngsters. The team started to play already last season, but not as a fixed team. Often there were many senior players involved and many in the team were young Academy players.
Now McCarthy has said that he want to have a pretty fixed team who learn to play together. In my opinion a very good idea. The players that probably will play in the Development team under manager Steve Weaver week in week out the upcoming season are:
All of them have gone through the Academy and – I believe – have been handed their first professional contracts. Some of them are very experienced and have played at international level and/or in the Football League on loan already. A couple of them have even played or been on the bench for Wolves senior team.
These players will be the core of the Development team and it will be filled up with first and second year Academy players and – occasionally i believe – some of the Wolves senior team players needing some match fitness after injury or if they get ‘rusty’ not playing.
The Development Team will first hand play in the Barclay’s Premier Reserve League. Last year it was divided between a North and a South group, but as it look this year it will be only one league and – unlike last season – it will only be for the clubs playing in the Premier League.
You can look at the fixtures HERE (and I will place it as a link in my right margin aswell). Wolves starts away against Everton on Tuesday August 31st.
The Development team have played some friendlies already this pre-season. McCarthy has had as a policy to play a couple of the senior players in what is called the ‘Wolves Development XI’. They have won four and lost one match so far.
In their first game they won with 4-1 against Lisburn Distillery after a hat-trick by Sam Winnall (see HERE). In the second they beat Glenavon with 1-0 (see HERE) after a penalty taken by trialist Mana Démbéle (who was not offered a deal).
Their only loss so far came against Newport with 0-2. This was the first game with a couple of Wolves senior players involved. A bleak Hoff played and Zubar had his first game after injury (see HERE).
The Development bounced back against Cheltenham with a win by 1-0. But this was with a starting eleven with seven senior players. Only Malone, Davis, Winnall and McGroary started from the ‘original’ Development team (see HERE).
Back then to the last match – against Chasetown. Previous week the non-league team had managed to hold Aston Villa to a draw (!) So this great victory was not clear in the cards at all. And the Wolves team had no seniors in it. Only Development and Academy youngsters.
I believe it’s a little late for me to write a match report, so I will only give you the goalscorers.
4′ Kempton (Academy First Year Player) on a counter attack from just inside the area
10′ Winnall (Development) a low drive after a pass from Hemmings (Development)
24′ Landell (Academy Second Year Player) with a drive
38′ Rooney (Development) a shot on the turn from the edge of the box
66′ Davis (Development) flicked the ball over the head of keeper after pass from Winnall
80′ McAlinden (Academy First Year Player) from up close
86′ McAlinden (Academy First Year Player) after a powerful Kristian Kostrna (Academy First Year Player) run
The Wolves team looked like this for the evening:
McCarey, Kostrna, Malone, Dunleavy (Keane 52), Batth (capt), Davis, Landell (Harris 69), Rooney, Kempton (McAlinden 55), Winnall, Hemmings. Unused sub: East.
In other words there were eight of the nine regular Development Team players involved (from start) and the second year academy players Landell and Harris (+ 2nd keeper East) and the first yearlings Keane, Kostrna, Kempton and McAlinden.
They seem to have the ability to make up a very powerful team and I believe they can have a good run in the Reserves League. But let’s not forget that the big teams use to have very good senior players in their reserve teams, so our young development lads will get good competition. But that means good development aswell. And that’s what it’s all about. I wish them good luck for the season!