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Ryan Delaney sets first team target for League One return

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

‘Unlucky’ defender Ryan Delaney wants to win back his regular spot at Wanderers next season.

The Irish defender is currently talking to Bolton about a new contract and hopes to challenge Ricardo Santos and Alex Baptiste for a starting place under Ian Evatt in League One.

Delaney was a mainstay until the 2-1 defeat at Tranmere in January, when he picked up a one-game suspension and a nasty ear injury which required surgery.

He failed to start another game as Wanderers’ fortunes changed completely in the last few months and they rocketed from 21st position to finish third in League Two.

Speaking to the Gorey Guardian, centre-half Delaney said: “I’ve really enjoyed the year.

“I got in quite early and made myself kind of a mainstay in the team, was really enjoying it.

“I was unlucky with the injury at the time, that kind of made it a bit more difficult for me to get back in as the lads went on a really good run.

”It was great to see the team doing well. Sometimes you've got to take yourself out of the picture and look at the bigger picture.”

Delaney finished the campaign with 23 appearances and two goals, one of which was a crucial winner at Cheltenham Town.

Although he fell one place down the pecking order in the second half of last season, the 24-year-old is sure he can make an impression in League One – the level at which he started his time with Bolton.

“I'm not under contract but we are in talks at the minute to sort something for the coming season,” he said. “I'm obviously confident that I can get back into the team and obviously go from there and push on a little more from last year.

“I felt like I was progressing this year and making pushes so hopefully that's the next step next year and (I'll) get back to enjoying it again.”

Delaney will also look forward to next season being back to a regular length after the pandemic truncated matters in 2020/21.

“Over the last few years you play quite frequently, from Championship down it's similar and they are all condensed into one,' he said.

“This year was kind of to another extreme, the majority of weeks you are playing two games, you could play two games a week for two months straight.

“You are playing Saturday, Tuesday, it just feels like it's all rolling into one. You come in and play on a Saturday, have your Sunday off, then Monday you are back onto it, basically hardly switched off from the game on Saturday and you have to prepare yourself for a game on Tuesday.

“Obviously it's quite intense and you put extra pressure and emphasis on going into the game as best prepared as can be, it can be a bit of a rollover but it works both ways.”



Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

He'll be nothing more than a back up if he does get another deal but i think we can do better.

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