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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » 'I can't wait!' - Santos on prospect of fans returning to UniBol next season

'I can't wait!' - Santos on prospect of fans returning to UniBol next season

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ricardo Santos cannot wait to sample the Bolton Wanderers atmosphere he has been told so much about.

The big defender became a fan-favourite this season without ever having played in front of the Whites supporters.

But with regulations starting to relax and 20,000 allowed inside Wembley to see Saturday’s FA Cup final, it is hoped by August the University of Bolton Stadium will be able to open the turnstiles to the maximum number possible.

Wanderers announced at the end of last week that more than half of the season tickets purchased last season have now been renewed. Santos has heard all about the matchday atmosphere at Bolton from those who have sampled it at its best.

“Yeah, Brocky (Harry Brockbank) has told me all about the fans and what the place is like when its packed,” he told The Bolton News.

“Seeing them outside before the Exeter game makes me wish we’d got promotion at home but it just didn’t work out like that.

“I just can’t wait for next season now this season has just been crazy without fans.”

Next season is scheduled to start on August 7, which is 75 weeks on since Wanderers last hosted a game with supporters, against Accrington Stanley on February 29, 2020.

Santos admits there have been times when the empty stands have been a blessing, particularly as Ian Evatt’s side struggled to settle in the first few months.

“I think if we’d have had fans at that point, the way we started the league, we might have crumbled,” he said.

“It has been crazy the way we pushed up the league. No-one would have thought it and a lot of people were probably writing us off because of the way it started.

“But we just stayed grounded and worked hard every day and the coaching staff, the gaffer, Pete (Atherton), they all believe in us and they just gave it our all.”

Santos earned plaudits from the Bolton faithful this season for his performances at the heart of Evatt’s defence and he is confident the whole team can use the momentum from the last few months to make a good start to life in League One.

“We have got a great squad,” he said. “I always knew it would take a while for us to gel but we have gelled and I think we can go again next year, without no egos, everyone is humble.

“We know how big and how hard League One is going to be. There are big teams up there, but I think the fans will just give us that extra push as well. I just can’t wait for it. I’m excited.”

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