Wolves' Matt Doherty goes back to his roots
Wolves defender Matt Doherty finds himself back in familiar territory and determined to make up for lost time.
The Ireland under-21 international has returned to his roots looking to pick up where he left off before his injury-scarred season to force his way back into Kenny Jackett's side.
Doherty is from Swords, around three miles up the coast from Wolves' training base in Portmarnock, north of Dublin.
He, was plucked from their Dublin neighbours Bohemians for a bargain £70,000 after impressing in a Molineux friendly against them in 2010,
Wolves face Shamrock Rovers tonight and the 22-year-old wants to rediscover his impressive form of last October when his injury curse first struck.
The right-back said: "I started last season really well and now it's about trying to do that again, get in the team and show the gaffer what I can do.
"There are some great defenders here and we had a great defensive record last season. It's a nice problem for the gaffer to have, to pick the best from those.
"Just not to be injured has been nice. It was quite a shock to miss so much of the season.
"It was quite a disappointing year on a personal note having started it off well. I felt I could have kicked on even more last season had I not got injured.
"But the boys did really well and got promoted, which was the most important thing."
Almost three weeks into pre-season training and it's a case of so far, so good for Doherty.
He said: "My hamstrings feel quite good – I've not had any problems. I feel right up to the pace and looking forward to the season to come."
The last time Wolves were in the Championship, Doherty provided one of the few highlights after being handed his chance by Dean Saunders.
And he is relishing the prospect of impressing on the bigger stage again.
He said: "I felt quite comfortable in the Championship. I had played a full season in League One beforehand and felt I made the step up quite well.
"I feel I can do the same again this year and do even better."
Doherty believes Wolves can flourish, having mastered a more stylish, fluid way of playing.
He said: "This group of players here now has the right mentality for this league. There's a lot of potential for us to achieve as long as we continue to put the work into it.
"We are still flying off what happened last season but mentally I think we are all looking at the right things.
"Although we were promoted, we need to make it that we're one of the teams people don't want to play.
"We want to carry it on from last season in the way we were playing and that should work in our favour as well."
Wolves face Bohemians in their second Irish friendly on Wednesday.
The last time they played them Doherty, who is one of six children, was fitting carpets with his dad Tom, in the game that earned him his big chance.
He recalled: "I was only playing for Bohemians Under-21s while I was still working with my dad.
"I think they drew a cup game on a Friday so the replay was the following Friday, the day before the Wolves game.
"With the first team having played the night before, some of the younger boys got a chance against Wolves and so I got 55 minutes, up against 'Jarvo' (Matt Jarvis)!
"My dad said it was a really good chance for me and we followed up the Wolves game by playing against Villa. I actually played better against Villa I think!
"I then came on trial and we actually played at Cheltenham and Mick McCarthy rang me on the way home to say he wanted to get something sorted."
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