Former Wolves midfielder Jack Price is ready for his next battle after MLS adventure
Jack Price has had to fight for every bit of his career.
From the time, in Wolves Academy, he had to battle at the end of every season to prove that his lack of height should not stop him staying for another year.
From the moment, a decade ago, he finally landed his first team opportunity as a part of the Kenny Jackett revolution which thrillingly blazed a trail to the League One title.
From those days, in the Championship, where he had to challenge for his place all over again, and yet, Wolves always seemed a better side when he was stationed in the engine room.
From the spells he had out of the team, which he struggled to deal with, and, by his own admission, didn’t look after himself in a way which would have helped him get back involved.
And from heading out Across the Pond, at the age of 25, to take on a risky new challenge in Major League Soccer (MLS) with Colorado Rapids.
Price has always battled. Alongside his undoubted technical ability and class and composure he has needed a strong and sustained mentality.
This year, more than ever.
In his sixth and ultimately final season with the Rapids, Price suffered a ruptured achilles tendon which ended his season in only his second appearance of the campaign back in March.
It has been a long way back for the hugely popular 30-year-old, still undergoing treatment as part of his recovery.
“It’s been the hardest challenge of my career so far,” he admits, ahead of heading off to his latest physio appointment.
“I haven’t had an injury like this in ten years and it’s been tough.
“It’s not nice being out for so long but I’m close to coming out of the other end now – and that’s when the excitement starts.
“At the beginning of a long-term injury it is very difficult but, as you get towards the end, then you are just really eager to get back out there and make up for lost time.
“That feeling of what it is like to be on a football pitch comes back, and it drives you on to go again.”
Going again is precisely what Price is looking forward to in January.
By the time the transfer window re-opens, he is hoping to be back to full fitness, or at least very close.
In the first instance though, he is reflecting on a memorable pursuit of the American dream, and six largely happy years when he developed impressively both on and off the pitch.
A big step to head out Stateside in his mid-twenties ultimately paid dividends as he made 130 appearances, scored four goals, and provided 35 assists, putting him second in that category in the club’s all-time record books.
He spent four years leading the team as captain, was voted the MVP (Most Valuable Player) four times as well, and was once named in the MLS Team of the Year.
“It’s been an amazing six years,” he reflects.
“I absolutely loved it in Colorado, and it was the best thing for me and my family.
“When you go into a new club, it’s like walking into a new job, and you wonder what it is going to be like.
“We were going into the unknown, but the club and the fans made me feel so welcome, and, as a player, when that happens it’s a weight off your shoulders and you can go out and perform at your best.
“They did a really nice farewell video for me when I left, and the first thing it said was how I felt at home from the moment I got there – and that was so true.
“Everyone was so welcoming to me and my family and it was quite emotional to watch that video back.
“It was also a risk for me to leave Wolves when I did and not many players of my age were heading over to America at that time.
“But it was less of a risk because I knew I was going to play football and I believed that if I got opportunities my football ability would show.”
And show it did. Those statistics show what an impact Price produced and it was matched by the level of responsibility he grew into by taking the captain’s armband.