Wolves decide on seven youngsters

Sport | Published:

Wolves today announced new deals for five homegrown youngsters and released two players.

Wolves today announced new deals for five homegrown youngsters and released two players.

Twenty-year-olds Danny Batth, Ashley Hemmings, David Davis, Sam Winnall and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, 18, have signed contract extensions.

Hemmings is now contracted until 2012 and Batth, Davis, Winnall and Mendez-Laing until 2013.

Johnny Dunleavy and Nathan Rooney have been released.

Wolves, who have particularly high hopes for Batth, are undecided on the future of 19-year-old left-back Scott Malone, the England under-19 left-back on loan at League Two club Burton.

All but Hemmings, who had a spell at Torquay earlier this season, and Rooney, are currently on loan, with Batth at Sheffield Wednesday, Davis at Shrewsbury, Winnall at Burton, Mendez-Laing at Peterborough and Dunleavy at Barnet.

Rooney, who has captained the reserves, is on trial at Shrewsbury and said to be on Doncaster's radar.

Manager Mick McCarthy has reasoned the players have been offered new deals to give them extra time to establish themselves, given the Premier League is much harder to prove themselves in.


He said: "We were trying to get players through to the Championship a few years ago, but in the Premier League they probably need a bit longer.

"We think they will make professional footballers - hopefully with us - but if not, somewhere else."

No home-grown player has established themselves in McCarthy's near five years at the club, but the Wolves boss insisted he would love to see academy youngsters in the first team.

He said: "I know supporters love to see home-grown players coming through – so do we.


"Kevin Thelwell and the academy put all that work in and are here from 8am-8pm. Bringing players through is their 'raison d'etre' and we all love to see the young players in the team.

"But the will only do it if they're good enough and it's certainly harder now."

McCarthy insisted the youngsters are given ample chances to impress by regularly training with the first team.

He said: "There's a really good integration with Kevin and Mick Halsall - everyone is in it together."

Elliott Bennett, who was sold to Brighton for an initial £200,000 in August 2009, was thought to be worth £1million when Norwich were linked with him in January.

But McCarthy stressed he wasn't good enough for Wolves.

He said: "Elliott's done particularly well, but he wasn't going to play in our team."

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