West Bromwich Albion U23 v Wolverhampton Wanderers U23 - Premier League 2
Photo by Sam Bagnall - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

James Collins hails Wolves U23 star Joe Hodge as starlet continues progression after injury

Wolves U23s manager James Collins gave Joe Hodge a special mention after the team’s latest victory over Aston Villa.

The youngsters continued their excellent form of late, running out 3-0 winners at Aggborough last week.

Photo by Sam Bagnall – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Taylor Perry got the ball rolling with a sweetly struck free-kick, and then Chem Campbell scored with a fantastic curling effort before Harry Birtwistle put the icing on the cake with a great solo goal.

The result has lifted Wolves up to third in the PL2 Division 2 table.

Right now, the U23s are in a really good shape.

Collins has a talented squad at his disposal, and the team has included the likes of Yerson Mosquera and Toti Gomes in recent weeks.

And one youngster who’ll be hoping to showcase his talents more regularly now is Hodge, who started for the first time for the club last night.

Hodge signed for Wolves last summer from Manchester City, but he was actually injured at the time of his arrival.

He recently featured briefly against Reading in the 4-3 win. He also actually got on the scoresheet in the victory over West Bromwich Albion.

But on Friday he finally started, and his performance left Collins delighted.

The U23s boss was particularly struck by the midfielder’s leadership, saying: “He’s had such a tough run with injuries, so we all had our fingers crossed that he would get back and then we had our fingers crossed that we hope he’d get through the first few training sessions and first few minutes unscathed.

“He’s been a really good addition to the group, a good addition to the team and he’s the right type of character for us. He’s a top guy, he shows exceptional leadership skills on and off the pitch and works his socks off on the training pitch and he’s taken that into the games. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.”

Hodge making good progress at Wolves after frustrating start

It is good to see Hodge now featuring foe the U23s.

It must have been frustrating time for him having to wait to make his debut.

He’s now got his first start under his belt, and he seems to have made a really good impression on Collins.

Photo by Sam Bagnall – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

The ‘exceptional leadership skills’ claim is particularly exciting from Collins.

One gets the feeling that that kind of thing will always stand young players in good stead.

It can be very hard for young prodigies to break through to the first-team. But if you have a strong personality to go along with the talent then that surely makes it more likely to happen.