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Three young players win deal at Wolves

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Wolves today awarded three scholars with contracts – taking the total of the current crop to eight who have turned pro.

Wolves today awarded three scholars with contracts – taking the total of the current crop to eight who have turned pro.

Left-back Jordan Cranston, striker Jake Kempton and midfielder Sam Whittall have been offered professional deals for one year, plus 12-month options.

They join Anthony Forde, Zeli Ismail, Liam McAlinden, Kristian Kostrna and Aljaz Cotman who have already signed contracts.

It is believed to be the most successful take-up the club has had, backed up by the fact Wolves are riding high in second place in the FA Premier Academy League, winning seven in a row at one point this season.

"We've done terrific again by getting so many through," said academy manager Kevin Thelwell.

"It will still be difficult for the eight to make it into the senior ranks, although Anthony has already figured for the first team.

"But for us to have eight of good stock with the qualities to be professional players is a really good marker of the work going on.

"That's been reflected in the league position this year.

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"We don't often talk about that but they are second in what's arguably the strongest academy league in the country and that's all credit to them as well as the excellent work done by Mick Halsall.

"Fingers crossed they can try to take it on to the next level now."

Three scholars have been released – Josh Shepherd, Jordan Keane and Oliver Bashford.

Thelwell said everything will be done to find the released players clubs.

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"Your heart always goes out to the ones who don't quite make it," he added.

"I don't think Jordan Keane, Josh and Olly could have done any more."

Meanwhile, David Davis was today named as the surprise catalyst who has lifted players' spirits during the current turmoil.

The Smethwick-born midfielder was primed for a Premier League debut today against Blackburn to replace the injured Karl Henry.

Home-grown Davis, 21, was recalled from his loan at League One strugglers Chesterfield.

And stand-in captain Stephen Ward said: "He's been really good and vocal in training and it's given the lads a lift to see him looking so enthusiastic. It might do us a world of good having a youngster in the team."

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