Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Tuesday April 24 2007
Last Friday Wolves rolled out the red carpet for their sponsors at the annual Sponsors Lunch.
Vital Wolves took their place amongst the other patrons for a memorable day, during an exciting period of the club's history.
Following drinks in the Molineux Boardroom, we were transported to the Sir Jack Hayward training ground for a behind the scenes tour of the facility, that with the exception of the hydro pool is British made and British built.
From the Academy classroom's to the weight room overlooking the immaculate training pitches, the exact same dimensions as their Molineux counterpart, it's every inch the facility expected of a club with great aspirations.
A huge emphasis is put on the Academy youngsters education, with reminders all around of the fact 60 percent of apprentices never earn a professional contract, counter pointed with reminders of Wolves legends and their attributes, constantly asking 'have you got what it takes to be a Wolves great?'
After watching the players being put through their paces by Mick McCarthy, Taff and Bobby Mimms, we were escorted inside for a moment to reminisce over portraits and photo's of teams and players gone by.
Black and White images of Stan Cullis, Billy Wright and Johhny Hancocks, the great sides of the fifties and sixties, and scenes of Molineux crowds able to rest their own cups and saucers on the edge of the pitch, at shoulder height as the Cannock Case Colliery Band entertained them.
The first of many surprises was the arrival of CEO Jez Moxey to address us and to thank everyone for their ongoing support, and to put some rumours and mis information to bed.
Several situations were explained with candid honesty, and an openness that was both surprising and refreshing in it's content, and re-affirmed the belief at Olofin Towers that the much maligned chief executive is doing a good job.
Fielding questions from the floor, Jez answered everything he was asked, never sidestepping or avoiding giving a truthful and honest account to all present.
That was to be the the theme for the rest of the day where we had the privilege of spending time with players, genuinely happy to give up their time, including extended conversations with club captain Jody Craddock and Mick McCarthy, who in keeping with the precedent set by Jez, gave straight answers to straight questions when it would have been easier to say they couldn't really comment.
Following the presentation of our away kit, signed by Jody, and more than a couple of photo opportunities with the current crop of stars, we were transported back to Molineux to make our way home.
It doesn't matter how old I get. I don't think I will ever lose the excitement of being in the company of those privileged enough to wear Old Gold and Black.
That the current manager and his players have proved by their endeavors that they feel just as strongly and passionately about the club as we do only re enforces that youthful feeling that I hope will never go away.
Vital Wolves would like to take the opportunity to thank Jody, and all those involved in making it a day that will live long in the memory.
He plays like he cares
For the shirt that he wears
Walking in a Craddock Wonderland
Date:Tuesday April 24 2007
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