Wolves might be being watched by a loads of kids in Slovan Bratislava – but they’re also bringing their own.
Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has given Academy scholars Taylor Perry and Chem Campbell experience of a Europa League trip for the first time at the Group K match on Thursday.
The youngsters have been called up with Ryan Bennett (groin) and Pedro Neto (thigh) out, while Romain Saiss missed Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Southampton and Diogo Jota only made his comeback in that game after missing four games with a toe problem.
The game is a behind-closed-doors but under Uefa rules, children under 14 can free admission accompanied by adults for every 10, and a crowd of 21,000 will be present.
Wolves have not been given a fans allocation but the club have instead donated all of their 200 VIP places to travelling supporters.
“We have Ryan (Bennett), Pedro (Neto) and (Bruno) Jordao out – they cannot be with us, but the whole squad is very competitive and we have the back-ups of the Under-23s,” said Nuno.
“‘TP’ (Taylor Perry) and Chem (Campbell) are here with us in case we need them and that’s our philosophy – we embrace every challenge and every competition because we are truly confident on that.”
Perry, 18 is an attacking midfielder from Kingswinford who has been with the club since he was seven, while Welsh midfielder Campbell is just 16 but has already played for the Under-23s.
Nuno previously took Academy scholars graduates Perry, Dion Sanderson, Terry Taylor, Ed Francis, Christian Marques, Hong Wan, Luke Cundle and Theodor Corbeanu on the pre-season trip to China for the Asia Trophy, which Wolves won.
“We want to provide our young players with a determination and provide them an environment of high competition,” the Portuguese explained.
“Hopefully is future is waiting, so we have not only him (Campbell), it could be Terry Taylor – it could be a lot of them.
“We always try to build like we’re only one team. It’s good for them to be here and if we need them, they are ready.”