New Wolves keeper John Ruddy looking to make name for himself
When joining a new club any player will be keen to make a name for themselves.
Unfortunately for John Ruddy, someone has already done that at Wolves...
Yes, not only is Wolves’ new shot-stopper not the only goalkeeper called Ruddy at Molineux, he’s not even the only John Ruddy.
Thankfully for all concerned, the Scottish Under-21 version, who is also out in Austria, goes by ‘Jack’.
John Ruddy, as in the ex-Norwich goalkeeper, takes up the story, telling the Express & Star: “Jack’s name is actually John but he goes by Jack, but my son’s name is Jack as well...it’s a weird connection!
“People have said ‘Are you sure you didn’t have a fling in Scotland’...but unless I did when I was 11 years old then no!
“I’m not sure what name I’ll have on the back of my shirt...maybe Jo Ruddy!”
Ruddy will have three young keepers pushing him for a first-team spot at the start of the season. As well as his namesake, Harry Burgoyne and new signing Will Norris are set to provide competition.
“It’s a good group of keepers, we’re working hard,” Ruddy said. “Jack, Will and Harry are very talented. Harry made his breakthrough last year under Paul (Lambert), so he’ll be determined to set his stall out as well.
“I’ve had it before at Norwich, we had a couple of really good young keepers coming through and pushing me all the way.
“It makes you realise you can’t rest on your laurels. That keeps me going – and focused."
Wolves’ target is clearly promotion this season and Ruddy knows what it takes to get out of the Championship having twice been promoted with Norwich.
What are the keys to success going to be this season?
"A good start is imperative and every club will be looking for that," Ruddy, who went up to the Premier League with Norwich via automatic promotion and the play-offs, said.
"We've got a tough run at the start but if we come through those in good shape we give ourselves an opportunity to stay with the pack.
"Huddersfield showed it last year, I don't think they left the top six last season.
"It's the momentum factor, playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday and picking up as many points as you can.
"It sounds very simple but you have to do that - and recover in the right way to make sure you go again because the games are tough on the bodies.
"That's where you need consistency, the squad depth and the understanding of responsibilities out on the pitch which are massively important.
"You can't predict the league and we had the same conversations with Norwich last year. The league gets tougher and tougher.
"If you get out of it it's a very rewarding feeling. With a good start and consistency with the group we'll be fine."