What a difference a year makes for Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Matt Jarvis.
Twelve months ago, the 22-year-old had just joined the club from Gillingham and was looking forward to making his mark in Wanderers’ Championship promotion campaign and showing the Molineux faithful just what manager Mick McCarthy had been so excited about when he signed him.
However, his dream move soon turned into something of a nightmare as he picked up an injury in pre-season that ruled him out for the first three months of the campaign.
He would be hampered by injuries throughout his first season and was only able to show glimpses of his obvious talent during the final stages of the campaign.
Now Jarvis is fighting fit once again and is enjoying a full pre-season programme in preparation for the coming campaign, which he is relishing.
“I’d waited all last summer to have the chance of playing - even in the friendly games,” Jarvis said.
“I played at Grays but then I picked up a hip injury in Ireland that was to rule me out for three months. When it happened, I thought it was just a bit of a strain but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“Thankfully that’s all in the past now and, like the rest of the boys, I’m getting back into the swing of things. We have worked hard over the summer and we can’t wait for the season to start.”
Jarvis revealed he has been forging a good relationship with left back George Elokobi and the pair are confident of causing opponents all sorts of problems down the left during the coming season.
“George and I have worked on things at the training ground and I think the last game of the season, against Plymouth, was our best together,” he said.
“It was just a shame that the season ended when it did. We want to make our partnership on the left even stronger. George is so full of energy and enthusiasm; it’s great to work with him.
“The gaffer has made some great signings over the summer and although they have only played in friendly games so far, you can see already what they can bring to the table.
“They have fitted in both on and off the pitch straight away, and Sam (Vokes) and big Chris (Iwelumo) are perfect target men for the likes of me and Kights. But that, of course, is dependent on me being selected. D.J. (Daniel Jones) is breathing down my neck and we all saw what a good job Stephen Ward can do on the left.
“In the friendlies we have played so far, the gaffer has used a new side for each half of the game. I don’t mind that because you know you are going to get 45 minutes and you can put everything into it.
“We all know there is pressure on every position in the team with the squad we’ve got so it’s important to stay right on top of your game.”
Meanwhile, Wolves have appointed a new development coach to work specifically with the club’s 18-21 year-olds. Steve Weaver, who spent 20 years with Wrexham and more recently has worked for Manchester City and Blackburn, will be looking after those young players on the fringes of the first team as well as monitoring the progress of those sent out on loan.
McCarthy said it was a vital role in bridging the gap between the Academy and the first team.
“Steve will be monitoring the middle group - coaching the young lads not in the first team squad,” McCarthy said.
“He will also watch them if they go out on loan and will be the link between the Academy and the first team.
“He knows the role and we have put him in place to ensure the best possibility for our young players to bridge the gap between the Academy and the first team.”