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:

Aaron McCarey
David Davis
John Dunleavy
Jamie Reckord
Danny Baath
Scott Malone
Nathan Rooney
Sam Winnall
Ashley Hemmings

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.

The Wolves Development XI against Lisburn Distillery

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!


Development Team Manager Weaver

The Wolves Development Team Manager Weaver


~ by paddytheflea on August 5, 2010.

2 Responses to “Presentation: The Wolves Development Team”

  1. Yep – the future looks bright with these kids – we just need to find a way through for them – for example Scott Malone – very promising left back who has reached the right age to be given a run, but he has no less than four left-backs in front of him! Whilst on the subject of kids, it’s all gone quiet on the ‘Boy Wonder’ Zele Ismail – do we know how he’s progressing ?

    • It doesn’t look good for Malone, I agree. But he has had the chance to show what he can do – even in the first team – this pre-season. And I do believe he came out with flaming colours. In half a season I believe he will be a better choice than most of those three if he continues to develop. I really hope that Mick notices him and gives him more chances this season if the left back position continues to be a problem spot. And there are already signs that it will be.

      Everybody wants to now about Zeli. He is a First Year Academy Player now and will play in the Academy under 18 team. If he is injury free and fit he will play against Coventry away tomorrow in a friendly. I will follow that – but not on site – hoping to write a short report.

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