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'There's only one way this club is moving' - Baptiste's joy at new Bolton deal

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Alex Baptiste says he was only too happy to sign up for another year at Wanderers.

The veteran defender has penned a new 12-month deal at the University of Bolton Stadium after helping the club secure promotion from League Two last season.

Baptiste proved hugely influential at the heart of the Whites’ defence alongside Ricardo Santos, featuring in 42 games.

He has now been rewarded with a new contract – which could see him past a century of appearances for Bolton next season, having spent two years with the club between 2013-15.

“I am delighted to have got it done. The club is moving in the right direction and massive credit must go to the board and staff,” he told the club.

“Getting promoted with the club was one of my best achievements in the game.

“I’m looking forward to next season and there is only one way this club is moving and that is up.”

Illustrating Baptiste’s importance to Bolton and Santos last season, the club was only able to win two of 11 games in which they did not play together.

When paired in the same team – and including a spell where they were part of a back three – the record read 22 wins, seven draws and 11 defeats.

Only two of those losses, against Grimsby and Exeter, occurred in 2021, and Ian Evatt paid tribute to the influence his former Blackpool team-mate had on the team.

“For the second half of the season Baps was absolutely outstanding and the partnership he and Rico formed was a big part as to why we achieved what we did.

“He has massively earned this contract and is a big part of our team moving forwards."

Speaking to The Bolton News, Santos also underlined the part Baptiste played in his own improved form after a tough start to life at the UniBol.

“Baps has been massive for me, helped me through the whole way,” he said. “I didn’t start too well but he kept me going.

“He’d call me, WhatsApp me, just to make sure my head was up.

“It really helps and it helps to have that experience next to you as well.

“I always say he doesn’t get enough credit for what he does. The boys tell him but the outside world doesn’t give him the credit he’s due.

“He isn’t really that type, doesn’t really card about that, he just wants to see everyone else do well.”


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