Bolton Wanderers Football Club Fan Forum for all BWFC Supporters.


You are not connected. Please login or register

Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers Development Section » Do Bolton need to start taking reserve team football seriously again?

Do Bolton need to start taking reserve team football seriously again?

4 posters

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Do Bolton need to start taking reserve team football seriously again? 13625555

While Ian Evatt is optimistic that his recruitment plans for the summer are already in place, a bigger task may be lurking in the background.

Outside a first team squad refurbished in January the next layer of Bolton Wanderers players appears worryingly thin.

It is only four years since David Lee led his Under-23s to the Professional Development League title, an honour that was worn as a badge of honour by the club’s academy which was still basking in the reflected pride of Rob Holding, Zach Clough, Josh Vela and the like.

Within two years only three of the team which started against Nottingham Forest were still employed by the club and, as financial problems set in, even they became the elder statesmen of an XI which came to Bolton’s rescue at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.

And, in the end, even the Junior Whites faded away.

When Wanderers were finally taken out of administration by Football Ventures, one of their early decisions was to downgrade the academy to category three and abandon the Under-23s team altogether.

The explanation given at the time by the man who had been installed to oversee the football department, Tobias Phoenix, was that if a player was good enough as an Under-18 he would be drafted into the first team squad, rather than spend time at a level viewed by some as a ‘limbo’ for younger players.

The plan did not account for the smattering of young professionals like Adam Senior, Ronan Darcy or Liam Edwards, who were still on the books, and obviously could not have foreseen the turmoil which was about to be caused by a global pandemic.

By the time football returned to normality, Bolton had promotion, new manager Evatt had complete control of the first team, and the club were talking about the need for a reserve team once again.

But the measures put in place this season have proven unsatisfactory. A second string was entered into the Central League, overseen by first team coach Sam Hird, but injury problems at first team level meant there was little cohesion in the squad, which was often drafted wholesale from the Under-18s.

The lack of a consistent fixture list and disappointing playing surfaces in some cases has left Wanderers looking around for the second consecutive summer for options.

Evatt has again spoken of the need for a more effective ‘bridge’ between the youth team and the seniors and with promotion to the Championship unlikely, a B Team looks the most likely route.

Establishing a new squad, and potentially a new staff, is a costly and time-consuming business but it may be the only way that Wanderers can get their academy conveyor belt moving once again.

Aside for the Papa John’s Trophy there have been precious few occasions where Evatt felt comfortable putting his squad’s youngest players into action, and efforts to get some individuals out on loan at crucial stages of the season have also proved fruitless.

The return of Finlay Lockett in yesterday's Central League game against Huddersfield at Lostock was a welcome sight, and the young striker will surely be one of those players who will most benefit from investment at this level next season.

Creating an entirely new team – and following the routes taken by the likes of Brentford, Huddersfield and Southampton, is a bold move but, one would argue, a necessary one if Bolton Wanderers are to be seen to take second string football seriously again.

Do Bolton need to start taking reserve team football seriously again? 13625556

Wanderers beat Nottingham Forest at the City Ground to lift the PDL title in 2018. But what are the players involved up to now?

JAMES ASPINALL – Played at Wigan Athletic after leaving Bolton but now in the North West Counties League with Ashton Athletic.

HARRY BROCKBANK – Left Wanderers in January after getting the chance to play in the US with El Paso Locomotives. Played 37 first team games.

COLE LONSDALE – Playing in the Northern Premier League with Ashton United after leaving Bolton in May 2018.

LIAM EDWARDS – After suffering a serious knee injury the centre-back made an emotional return for Wanderers this season at Rochdale. Been on loan at Southport.

ADAM MITCHELL – Now plying his trade back in native New Zealand with Auckland City, featuring 15 times this season.

JOE PRITCHARD – Signed for Accrington Stanley after a handful of first team games. Suffered a bad hamstring injury in August which kept him out until recently.

DENNIS POLITIC – Now at Cremonese in Italy’s Serie B after leaving Wanderers, initially on loan for Port Vale, and declining to sign an extended contract.

JACK EARING – Been virtually ever-present at League Two Walsall this season having initially signed for Halifax Town on his departure from Bolton in 2019.

STEPHEN DUKE-MCKENNA – Currently on loan with Torquay United in the National League having started the season with QPR in the Championship.

JEFF KING – After a few first team games at Bolton, King left for St Mirren in Scotland in the summer of 2019. Now at National League promotion-chasers Chesterfield.

JOE WHITE – Another player who can be found in the Northern Premier League, the defender having signed recently for Marine.

Source

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

The whole structure of reserve or under 23's football needs to be looked at by the authorities as it just doesn't work. The big teams in the Prem just send all their youngsters out on loan to lower league teams and kids in those teams don't get a look in. 

If you're not in the first team by the time you get to 23 then it's unlikely they will get into the first team so they need to move on.

Not sure what the answer is to be honest but there needs to be something from around 18 to bridge the gap to the first team.

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

It's the quality of youngsters that matters. For the development team to be worthwhile we need players who will achieve the standard of where we want to be - which ATM is the Championship but TBH we can't really attract young players who will reach that standard. Nobody since Holding has progressed  - well arguably Politic and we only got him when Manure let him go - but funding an entire team to produce 1 player every blue moon isn't really viable.

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

I see we are starting up a B team for next season but not sure how that helps, From what i read we would still have a team in the Central League and other age group teams so what is the benefit and who would they play on a regular basis?

I can't see the benefit, i know the likes of Brentford and Huddersfield have a B team as well so has it benefitted them?

https://www.bwfc.co.uk/news/2022/april/b-team-plan-in-place/

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

We have loads of candidates for the B team.

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Natasha Whittam wrote:We have loads of candidates for the B team.
this chap can't be in the B team

Do Bolton need to start taking reserve team football seriously again? 200.gif?cid=a87a70e60v6jyeuc1ca6zix3u7crf3hgsda1b96pc3gxr0wf&rid=200

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Sponsored content



Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum