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Video: Chris Iwelumo new Wolves U18s boss

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Popular former Wolves striker Chris Iwelumo has rejoined the club as head coach for the under-18 side.

Iwelumo played for Wolves between 2008 and 2010 and since retiring last year has worked towards his coaching qualifications.

Now aged 36, Iwelumo has replaced Rob Edwards in the under-18 role, with Edwards having moved to the first-team coaching setup earlier this summer.

Kenny Jackett, recruitment chief Kevin Thelwell, academy boss Gareth Prosser and chief executive Jez Moxey oversaw the appointment of the ex-Scottish international.

Jackett said: "I am delighted to welcome Chris back to the club in a different capacity, this time as under-18s coach.

"I am sure he will get all the support he needs from everyone within the club as he starts off his coaching career.

"He brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm into the Under-18 department as the squad heads into the 2015/16 season."

Thelwell said Iwelumo had left the staff 'very impressed' after leading some football sessions before accepting the job.

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"Chris is someone who is very well known to us, and he is a very strong character," Thelwell said.

"He obviously knows the club very well, he knows about the culture and what we are trying to build here, and I think he is going to be really good for our young players."

The academy youngsters travel to Holland next week for a pre-season training camp.

Academy manager Prosser said: "After a thorough interview process, with some excellent candidates, Chris showed a great character with a real willingness to learn and desire to improve the players.

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"The club will continue to work hard to ensure a pathway remains for players at Wolves from the academy to the first team.

"This has been again highlighted recently by the opportunities presented to Bright (Enobakhare) and Connor (Ronan).

"The addition of Chris to the staff will further strengthen the existing programme in place and I have no doubt that he will fit back into Wolves very quickly."

Iwelumo played 52 times for Wolves in a two-year spell and one his few career regrets was leaving Molineux.

The Scottish international striker featured for a host of clubs in a 500-game playing career, including Stoke City, Charlton Athletic, Burnley and Watford.

Now, after retiring a year ago, he has returned to Wolves after passing his Uefa 'A' coaching course.

"I've always been one to say 'never have a regret' and leaving Wolves was probably one of my regrets in a 20-year career," the 36-year-old said.

"I enjoyed my time here and I'm just delighted to have this opportunity to come back, albeit as a coach."

Iwelumo first joined the club in 2008 and formed a deadly striking partnership with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

The Scot scored 15 goals in his first 16 games for the club, but missed Wolves' Championship title run-in that season after a bad challenge from Birmingham's Lee Carsley left him on the sidelines.

After regaining fitness Iwelumo broke his foot during Wolves' 2009/10 pre-season tour to Australia and only featured sporadically in the Premier League that year, with a loan spell to Bristol City preceding a permanent move to Burnley.

However in the long term the injury suffered in Australia was a small blessing in disguise as it set Iwelumo on his way to a second career in coaching.

"I came back (from Australia) and I was watching a lot of football, the gaffer at the time Mick McCarthy gave me a lot of time, made me feel really involved but it gave me the bug for it so I inquired, started my Uefa B licence, it took me a year to get that and I went straight onto my A.

"So I'm a Uefa A licenced coach and I find myself here, head coach of the 18s, and I just can't wait to get started."

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