Archives for April 2015

DSA Appeal Bike Ride

My name is Stuart Alves, MBE, but Wolves Blog readers might know me better as StuWolf. 

Stu Wolves bike ride

Like all of you, I’m a massive Wolves fan. My wife Jenny and I are season ticket holders and regularly attend away games and U21’s matches.

In January I joined the Wolves Disabled Supporters Association (DSA) as an able bodied member to try and improve conditions and human rights for our Disabled fans – both at Molineux and when visiting away grounds.

This is a cause I feel passionate about and well qualified to support following 33 years with the Staffordshire Emergency Ambulance Service.

I also ran a very successful Charity from 1999 until 2013 after being asked to take part in a Government project to assist the former Yugoslavia in Sarajevo during the first ever Bosnian conflict at the request of the then Prime minister John Major.

My charity has since donated and delivered some £8.5 million of Humanitarian aid in the form of Ambulances, Hospital equipment and medical supplies to the peoples of Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Nigeria and Ukraine. This, in case you were wondering, is why I was awarded my MBE.

Anyway, that’s my potted history. Back to the matter at hand…

Last year I made a decision that I wanted to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats, so this year on July 24th and over a period of 14 days, I’m going to do just that, raising money for the Wolves Disabled Supporters Association (DSA).

This will entail cycling an average of 70 – 80 miles per day and a distance of around 1020 miles in total. As a 63 year old supporter with a very fragile heart (from being a Wolves fan) this is no easy task, but it’s a long time personal goal and a great opportunity to raise funds for a wonderful cause.

My hope is that the money will help the DSA establish their Association, gain a better quality of life and enjoy a more comfortable viewing experience at our beloved Molineux.

I am asking all Wolves management, players, staff and fans near and far to find it within their hearts to think of our disabled supporters who like all of us enjoy attending games, but who often have to suffer harsh and uncomfortable conditions.

The Wolves Disabled Supporters Association and the fans Parliament are working alongside Wolves FC to see what can be done. From experience, I know more could be done if we could find funding.

As part of my medical teaching role I was fortunate enough to work with the Porto FC Doctor at the Man Utd European Qualifying game a few years back, when I saw the luxurious conditions afforded to their disabled fans. It left me speechless, but that experience has only made me more determined to help our guys & girls with basic Human rights.

Please I beg you, if you can find it in your hearts, help me support these wonderful fans of ours. Our big claim to fame is “that we are a family club”, I have seen such generosity from Wolves supporters over the years for numerous causes, there surely can be no better cause than this one.

And that means all of us, able bodied or disabled alike we all share the same passion – The Wolves. It’s just that some of us have had to endure hardships able bodied fans cannot comprehend just to watch a game.

Thank you in anticipation, we’ll be setting up forms for sponsorship (ask me in the comments if you’d like to help collecting) or you can simply send donations directly to the Wolves Disabled Supporters Association.

Yours Sincerely

Stuart Alves, MBE
Wolves Fan since Autumn 1961

Wigan Athletic 0 Wolves 1

Whatever transpires next weekend, Wolves can feel proud they went the distance.

Afobe Wigan

It’s only a slim chance, but it’s still a chance if they can overcome Millwall and rely on an unlikely sequence of events elsewhere.

Sadly, good fortune has been in short supply this term.

Kenny Jackett reiterated his side will be unlucky if they hit the 78 point mark and fail to land a play-off position and the record books confirm that assessment.

I went back 20 years and can’t find a single instance of any team amassing such a high total and not making the top six.

Even the 75 points already on the board would more often than not be enough to extend the season, putting Wolves’ efforts to date into clearer context.

Grinding out this narrow win over a team with nothing to lose speaks volumes about the character of the team Jackett has assembled.

And his most valuable acquisition yet looks like being the most recent – Benik Afobe.

The striker’s 32nd goal of the season made sure his side carried the fight to the final day. Without his January arrival, they’d have been written off weeks ago.

At the other end of the pitch it was Richard Stearman’s experience and commitment to the cause that helped ensure one goal was enough.

Regardless of the club’s divisional status, his presence will be crucial again next season in helping advance the development of Iorfa, Hause and Ebanks-Landell.

All three got on the pitch yesterday and another cleansheet is testament to their huge potential.

So onto Molineux we go for that all too familiar final day feeling of being one agonising step behind.

Chances are we’ll leave disappointed again but perhaps with a sense that there are better times ahead.

Highlights

Wigan Athletic Vs Wolves Preview

You could be forgiven for thinking the season ended last weekend.

Wolves Wigan

Post Ipswich, most of the talk has been about planning for next year and coming back stronger.

I hope that hasn’t transferred to the players.  Yes, Wolves are now an outside bet, but they’re still a bet.

As we saw last weekend with Derby and Brentford’s results against bottom half opposition, nothing can be taken for granted.

Forest and Blackburn won’t roll over for Ipswich, so it’s vital that Wolves do their bit and win both of their matches.

Wigan

1024px-Wigan_Athletic.svgThe Latics come into the game still with an outside chance of survival. They’re five points off safety with two games remaining.

Interestingly, even a third bottom finish could see them safe if Rotherham have points deducted for fielding an ineligible player.

The DW has been the most prosperous venue in the Championship this season for visiting clubs. Wigan have only managed three home wins all season, losing 11.

Scoring goals has been the principle issue. With just 18 scored at home and 39 in total, only the two clubs sandwiching them inside the bottom three have managed fewer.

Giving Malky Mackay the flick so close to the end of the season suggests they’re already looking ahead to a rebuilding job.

Wolves

I was critical of Kenny Jackett for not changing things in that frustrating second half against Ipswich. Wolves team Wigan

What I probably would have done for the final 20 minutes or so was withdraw one of the strikers and put an extra midfielder on, only because we simply couldn’t get the ball forward.

The problem Kenny Jackett has is that when names a team like the above, Wolves already have their best attacking players on the pitch. But sometimes personnel have to be sacrificed to improve the system.

Danny Batth is out for the season, which has been greeted by a mixture of responses. For me, he’s been reasonably consistent, save for the odd wobble. A 7/10 campaign I’d say.

It will be interesting now to see how Hause, Iorfa or Ebanks-Landell slot in alongside Richard Stearman. All offer more pace and physicality than Batth but lack experience.

The gaffer

Predictions

Winning both games is now the absolute minimum requirement. The ideal would be to win both handsomely in an attempt to overhaul Ipswich’s goal difference. That’s probably ambitious though.

I think it’s to our benefit that Wigan will go all out for the win, as it should ensure an open game, which suits Wolves down to the ground.

If the spaces are there, I’d like to think we can exploit and outgun a team struggling for goals.

3-1.

Up The Wolves!