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Cullis aiming to build new Wolves legacy

Wolverhampton | Sport | Published:

See if this story sounds familiar...

Some guy named Cullis takes over as manager of Wolves. A man with long-term visions for the team, implementing a root-and-branch overhaul of its youth policy and having aspirations of sustained success with the club at the heart of the Wolverhampton community.

But this isn't a history lesson of how Stan turned Wolves into one of the finest football teams on the planet.

It's a blueprint for how his cousin's grandson hopes to transform the fortunes of Wolves Women.

Stan Cullis led Wolves to three league titles and two FA Cups.

The 28-year-old took over as Wolves Women boss in the summer and, having been involved with Wolves for 12 years since leaving school, he had the club in his blood in more ways than one.

He also happens to have a surname that's arguably more synonymous with Wolverhampton Wanderers than any other.

"If my name helps boost the profile of Wolves Women that can only be a good thing," said Cullis, born and raised in Deansfield, just 10 minutes from Molineux.

And that's what Cullis is all about. While the men's team possess a rich and glorious history dating back to long before Stan even made his debut as a teenager in 1935, the women's side are only now beginning to slowly creep into the city's limelight.

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Ambitious Cullis speaks with great passion about revolutionising women's football in Wolverhampton.

He knows won't be easy, but the tremendous success of England at the recent World Cup means that nationally the women's game is expanding rapidly – and he hopes his Wolves team will benefit

And if he needs any inspiration, he doesn't have to look far.

"Everyone in Wolverhampton knows Stan Cullis," he said.

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"You do feel a bit of pressure but I'm taking that pressure on board and it'll motivate me, and in turn I'll motivate my team.

"From what my uncles and aunties and my mum said he was a really likeable character, very friendly, but also very stern. He was one of those people you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of.

"I only got the opportunity to meet him once when I was very young.

"I actually had an uncle called Stan Cullis so I always thought it was him, until I got a bit older and understood the family tree a bit more.

"I'd hear stories of when he used to manage Wolves. When we have a family gathering, he's a hot topic. And now I want to make my own Wolves stories. It's an aspiration and a dream for me."

Cullis hopes to do that by offering entertaining, winning football. After relegation from the Premier League Northern Division last season, Wolves Women are three leagues below the likes of Arsenal Ladies and Chelsea Ladies, whose matches get national attention on Sky Sports and BBC.

He sees an opportunity to rejuvenate the club, much in same the way Kenny Jackett has for the men.

Cullis said: "The more success we have it may spark interest for people to get involved and to take the female game in Wolverhampton a bit more seriously. It's my job to make us as successful as possible to get us noticed.

"It's happening slowly. I've seen that first hand through our trials.

"The amount of players we've seen increase over the last three years in staggering. We saw over 100 in our last trial in June.

"The Olympics helped but the World Cup this year was a catalyst."

Cullis has ambitions to rise the ranks within either the women's or the men's game, and wants Wolves Women to follow in the path of Villa and Blues, who both play at a higher level.

And who knows, maybe one day the name of Cullis will once again be on everyone's lips in Wolverhampton.

"It's great to have that name but I want to do something for myself and not live in Stan's shadow," he said.

"Hopefully I've got similar traits.

"If I could be anywhere near as successful as him I know I'll be doing well.

"If that means they change the name of the stand from the Stan Cullis to the Steve Cullis then feel free!"

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