On July 29, Wolves will face Celtic at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium in a friendly match, and most expected player is Joe Hodge.
Ireland under-21 international Joe Hodge admits playing for Wolves in Dublin this month ‘will be special’ as the team prepares for the upcoming Premier League season.
The 20-year-old, who broke into Wolves’ first team last season, is now back training with the group ahead of Wolves’ friendly clash against Celtic at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on July 29.
Hodge now hopes to play a part in that game for the Wolves as he looks to build on a successful breakthrough season.
He said: “I’m buzzing about it. I can’t wait to be honest. Celtic are a top side – everyone knows that. They are a huge football club, and hopefully it should make for an enjoyable game in a classy stadium.
“I’ve been a couple of times to Aviva before. I’ve never played there, though, but I’ve watched a few games. Hopefully, if I get a game there at the end of this month, it will be the first of many.
“I want to represent Ireland, and hopefully I’ll be playing in the Aviva this season. That’s my aim.
“But getting the chance to go there with Wolves and play in front of a home crowd – although I know a lot of them will support Celtic – will be special and hopefully the first of many.” Hodge is rated highly by both Wolves and Ireland, and the midfielder is set for a big 2023/24 season, either at Molineux or on his first loan spell. Julen Lopetegui likes the midfielder, but his future at Wolves this season will depend on the game time the club can promise him.
The youngster has also captained the Ireland under-21s, and he feels it comes naturally to him.
Hodge added: “I enjoyed it. I feel like the squad I’m part of means it’s not difficult, and it’s an awesome group of boys. Everyone pulls together whenever I’m in my 21s.
“But I love it, I love being part of the 21st century class, and I love the summer break. Although I only got one game, it was a good couple of weeks, and I’m enjoying it so far.”