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Declan John gives update on his future and possible return to Bolton Wanderers

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Declan John says he is open to a return to Bolton Wanderers after completing his short-term aim of getting his career back on track.

The Welsh full-back kept a poker face when asked if he would definitely be returning in League One next season but the good news for Whites fans is that he is ruling nothing out.

John has been a big hit since signing on loan from Swansea City, where he had been frozen out of the first team for 12 long months.

And though his initial aim had simply been to play regularly at the University of Bolton Stadium, the team’s success has made him think about a longer stay.

“Well, the boys have been asking me if I’m going to sign over the last couple of weeks but nothing’s been talked about so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” he told The Bolton News.

“The main thing for me when I came here was to play games, and obviously I knew the gaffer when he was at Chesterfield and I was there, so it was just an easy choice to come.

“I was guaranteed minutes as well which was a good thing. I think I’ve done well this season and the boys have been brilliant.”

John is out of contract at Swansea this summer but now faces an interesting summer ahead, likely to be filled with options.

Dropping down to League Two with Wanderers looked like a gamble at the start of the year for the Wales international, yet he now freely admits he was in the right place at the right time.

“Of course I was – and that’s what the boys were,” he said. “You’re talking 19th or 20th in the table and the club and the fans perhaps didn’t think this was going to happen six months ago and we’ve worked so hard.

“That goes from the gaffer all the way down through the staff and then to us as players to go out onto the pitch and do it.

“I think especially in this climate now I think it’s been really tough for everyone and for this to happen. Especially for me from going playing 23s football for the last six months to getting promoted with this team is brilliant.”

John sees no reason why Wanderers cannot go up into League One with momentum on their side and once again challenge at the top end.

“When I first came in, I couldn’t really believe where they were in the table because I was looking around thinking there’s some good players here,” he said. “ I’ve played with Doyler when he was at Cardiff as well and I was just thinking this can’t be right, especially for a club of this size.

“You need to be playing higher up in the leagues and this club should be playing at least Championship football and I think that’s the aim eventually and I think this is just the start.”

John feels he has come a long way in his spell at Bolton, having arrived without a competitive game at Swansea in more than a year.

The experience still grates with the 25-year-old despite answering some of his critics unequivocally in the last few months.

“It was tough, there was days where I didn’t want to go into training,” he said of his time at the Liberty Stadium, “I’ll be completely honest with you and not really being given a reason why. I think I was more than good enough to play in that team and I think I’ve shown what I can do in the games that I’ve played this season.”


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