Jack Price is ready for the next and possibly final phase of his American adventure after a long break back home in the Midlands.
The bearded midfielder turned 30 just before Christmas and will have spent six years in football in America when his contract with Colorado Rapids runs out next December.
That will leave him with a decision to make over his future but we were delighted to catch up with him at Molineux yesterday and receive an update on his movements in the final hours before he caught a flight from Heathrow this morning.
“My wife and our son are staying here for another few weeks because they would not see much of me if they were over in Denver,” he said.
“We report for pre-season training at the end of the week and then have two training camps coming up – one in Mexico and another in Florida before the season starts towards the end of February.
“Another factor is the weather. It is very, very cold over there at present and our preparation work initially will largely be on treadmills indoors. It can get down to about -26, so they prefer to have us heading off somewhere much warmer than work on frozen pitches.
“I have been there for five years now and have sort of got used to the climate, which is all part of the tremendous life experience it has been for us all.
“Being back home with parents for an extended break taking in Christmas and the World Cup has been lovely but it’s hard to say whether I will have that sort of routine again next winter or whether I will be back here for good and looking for a club in England.”
Shrewsbury-born Price, whose 115 first-team appearances for Wolves include 39 across their two most recent promotion campaigns (2013-14 in League One and 2017-18 in the Championship), is hoping to regain the fine form he has generally shown with the club Kevin Doyle also served.
He has set records for most set-piece assists in a season, been named as his club’s most valuable player and had the honour of being handed the captaincy.
Now he is hoping for a successful 2023 after injury restricted him to 17 senior appearances last season.
Among the friendly faces who will be welcoming him back in the coming days is that of Neil Emblen, who was appointed as the Rapids’ assistant coach in 2018 – the same year in which Price made the move across the Atlantic.
The now-retired Doyle, a Wolves team-mate of his for several years (Emblen was a distant Molineux predecessor of both) was in Colorado from 2015 to 2017.
Price was summarising on radio at the visit of Manchester United yesterday alongside Andy Thompson and Mikey Burrows and said of his first visit to Molineux for four years: “It has been wonderful to be back.”