‘Wolves are no longer a run-of-the-mill club from the Black Country. We’re a team of disruptors, challengers and the only way is upwards.’
A quote from Laurie Dalrymple at last night’s awards evening (albeit paraphrased), which left the biggest impression on me as a barely believing Wolves fan, at a gargantuan event which was hardly lacking in tub-thumping statements of intent.
It was grandiose, it was glitzy and was unerringly professional, so it’s fair to say that the ceremony in Telford was proportionate to the size of the football club we all must recognise. No messing about, no unfortunate faux-pas to speak of and every facet of the evening working as one to leave a whopping great impression on the general public.
When the extraordinary talents of Moutinho and Jiminez ultimately played second fiddle to an even bigger narrative – on an evening that is geared around those very players in the first place – then you can deduce that this end of season awards night was a thing of some significance.
It was more of an opportunity than an event in the first place, truth be told, as Guo Guangchang was beamed through a ginormous video screen (seamless, of course), while Laurie, Kevin Thelwell and Nuno himself held court in their own inimitable styles, all with a different way of saying the same thing…
…Namely, that we’re looking at the tip of the iceberg.
Once upon a time, the ‘closed’ signs would be flipped over inside the windows at Molineux as dust would settle over the barren summer months. Fans would clamour for a mere sighting of Jelle Van Damme to quench their parched thirsts. Inside a space-age auditorium where the wine and champers flowed, let it be known that those days have gone.
Every day, it appears, is an opportunity to do something special. The work begins in earnest to install new seating in the South Bank, while an ergonomically superior megastore is being prepared in China. Molineux stadium plans have also been progressed significantly, even if renovation work can’t begin as soon as we’d all like. But it’ll happen no doubt, with ‘a stadium fit for the city, the next generation and the next generation after that,’ according to Laurie.
With a seventh-placed finish in the bag and a season to surpass our expectations, the atmosphere was naturally warm and jovial, but Laurie’s tone was still cold and serious enough to remind us all that our football club has just got serious, stating: ‘Think of the progress made in the last three years., and then think of the possibilities in three years’ time and three years after that.’
Fittingly, Nuno said it best, reminding us of the strength of the pack like he did when he first walked through the door clean-shaven.
‘The wolf pack is off for a lie down in the mountains’, he said. ‘From up high, we’ll watch all the prey go into the valleys…
…’And then we’ll run down the mountain and eat them all up.’