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Connor Ronan: This is my big chance at Wolves - I don’t know if there will be others

In a short pre-season spell Connor Ronan has proved his worth to this Wolves side.

FARO, PORTUGAL - JULY 31: Connor Ronan of Wolverhampton Wanderers runs with the ball during the Pre-Season Friendly between SSC Farense and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Estadio Sao Luis on July 31, 2022 in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images).
FARO, PORTUGAL - JULY 31: Connor Ronan of Wolverhampton Wanderers runs with the ball during the Pre-Season Friendly between SSC Farense and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Estadio Sao Luis on July 31, 2022 in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images).

He will not play 30 games this season and Wolves still need a midfield signing, but the 24-year-old has shown enough in his limited minutes that he has the ability to do a job for the club.

His range of passing, energy in midfield and technical ability has shone through and Ronan has been eager to learn from the players around him during the camps in Spain and Portugal.

"It's been unbelievable. Obviously you try to learn from these type of players every day," he said.

"Players like Joao and Ruben give you a lot of advice in training and it's important you take that on.

"Even when they're not giving you advice, watching them is enough sometimes. Watching little things they do and trying to pick up on it.

"It's nice to be back and be around those players again. I used to be around them five or six years ago, so it's nice to be back around a few familiar faces.

"I'm trying to learn as much as I can in this short period of time."

After six loan spells, last year Ronan enjoyed his most successful yet with eight goals and five assists for St Mirren.

But the midfielder does not believe he has received the credit he deserves for other loan spells that have gone well.

"With previous loans I'd done well at clubs and played a lot of games, which is what I wanted, but not affected games and not got enough goals and assists," he said.

"I've learned over the last few years that is what matters. I've learned that from going on loans and doing well, but not getting the credit.

"The clubs I was at were not on television every week so people weren't watching the performances.

"Last season everything just clicked. The manager trusted me, my team-mates trusted me. I got two goals early on and kicked on from there.

"It gives me massive confidence to come back here, off the back of my best season, and I'm just trying to impress.

"People still think I'm young but I'm starting to get on a bit now!

"This pre-season is my chance. I don't know if they'll be others, whether I go on-loan again or leave next season, I can't say.

"I do feel like because I've been back so many times from loans and not had chances or pre-seasons with the first team, I now feel that this is my big chance to impress.

"If it's not to be then I can take that on the chin because I've had the opportunities to show what I can do."

When a player departs on-loan, it can be a lonely process where they feel disconnected from the parent club and struggle to see a way back into the team.

Ronan may not stay with Wolves and is pleased he had the opportunity to prove himself, but he has also praised the club for looking out for him during his loan spells.

"The club are really good in that sense, in terms of managing the loan players," he said.

"I'm in contact with the physios all the time, sports science in terms of fitness, gym programmes. Just having that weekly contact reminds you that you're still a Wolves player.

"For players like me, it's not really common when you're going on-loan four or five seasons in a row, so it's nice to have that regular communication and knowing that they're watching games.

"Matt Jackson is in touch a lot, letting us know he's coming to watch games. That's the biggest thing, having that regular communication with the club.

"I always kept in the back of my mind that I am a Wolves player and no matter what, I want to break into this first team. I'll take whatever route to get there."

It remains to be seen whether Ronan gets his chance this year, but he has stood out among other fringe players in friendlies.

But when asked how he rates his own displays, he is understandably critical for a player who wants to get the best out of his career.

"I think I've done OK," he said.

"I've done better in some games than others. I think I've got the fitness out of it, which is obviously important.

"I'm with the first-team and with big experienced players but I still want to have my mark on games and try to impress.

"I've been away from the club for a long time so it takes a week or so to start gelling with the players and getting used to what the manager is trying to do.

"I'm trying to take everything in my stride - there was a lot to take on. I tried to take advice from the manager. Scott (Sellars) is in touch with me a lot because he was my under-23s manager, so he has a lot of input.

"I'm trying to everything in my stride and keep learning."

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