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Doherty rises fast through Wolves ranks

DUBLINER Matt Doherty had planned to get a nice long break back home in Ireland at Christmas like the rest of the players in the reserve team squad at Premier League side Wolves.

But full-back Doherty, 18, may have to plan to spend the festive season away from the family home in Swords as he's now a member of Mick McCarthy's first team squad, the former Bohemians man earning an unexpected promotion to the bench for Saturday's Premier League game away to Blackburn, a 3-0 defeat for Wolves.

His progress is all the more remarkable given that Doherty has only been at Molineux for less than five months and he never even played a first team game in his time at Bohs, but McCarthy deemed the player to be good enough to claim a place on the bench on Saturday, though Doherty was an unused sub on a day when the Wolves back four put on a display of some very bad defending.

"It's still all a bit hard to take in, to be honest," Doherty told the Herald today. "Five months ago I was nowhere and there I was on Saturday, on the bench for a Premier League game in front of 25,000 people.

"I didn't get to play and it wasn't a good day for the club as we lost 3-0 but it was still an amazing experience for me, especially as I hadn't expected it to happen so soon. To come from nowhere to the fringe of the Premier League in five months is amazing.

"I'm not going to get too carried away, I'm still nowhere in one way as I haven't played or made my debut yet, but it was still a great boost to my confidence to get on the bench for a first-team game.

"I don't know if I will be with the first-team squad for a while now or what will happen, I will speak to the staff at the club today or tomorrow. Our next reserve game isn't until January so most of the reserves are being allowed to go home for Christmas, maybe Mick might want me to stick around now instead of coming back to Dublin for a break.

"I'd hate to miss Christmas at home but if it means me getting the chance to maybe play in the Premier League, I'll be happy to do it," added Doherty, a former schoolboy with Home Farm and Belvedere who earned his move to England after he caught McCarthy's eye playing for Bohs against Wolves in a friendly last summer.

"I didn't think I'd be in the first-team squad so soon," he says. "I was out injured for about five weeks and I have only been fit for a week or two.

"I was training last Thursday and at the end of the session the gaffer told me 'bring your stuff tomorrow' as the first team were travelling down to Blackburn on Friday.

"So I knew I was travelling with the first team but I didn't think I'd be involved in the game, I only found out at one o'clock on the Saturday that I was on the bench, so I was on the phone to my dad straight away," he says.


"I wasn't really that nervous, I just tried to enjoy the game, though it wasn't easy as we were beaten 3-0. Blackburn's second goal was well offside but maybe we defended badly for the other two goals. We showed a bit of life when Stephen Hunt came on, he was the only one who looked like scoring for us," added Doherty.

The defender admits that the last few months have seen his life turned upside down, as he went from the Bohs reserves to the Premier League in England. "It seems that Mick McCarthy was impressed when he saw me play for Bohs against Wolves in the summer, but I didn't think I did that well in the game, I was taken off five minutes into the second half," he says.

"But Mick saw something in me and he had a scout over to watch me play for Bohs against Aston Villa the following week, I did much better in that game and I got the move.

"I still have a long way to go as I haven't really achieved anything yet but being on the bench for a Premier League game at the age of 18, five months after I was playing for the Bohs U20s, is a great feeling."