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Bolton part ways with academy manager Mark Litherland

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Bolton part ways with academy manager Mark Litherland 13786987

Wanderers have parted ways with academy manager Mark Litherland.

The former Bury youth coach was appointed in August 2020 but has left the club to pursue other opportunities, The Bolton News understands.

Litherland was brought in to head up the academy at roughly the same time as it was confirmed that Jimmy Phillips had stepped down as academy director.

Wanderers had downgraded the academy to Category Three and dispensed with the development squad, which was then coached by David Lee.

This summer the club has hinted at a major restructure at academy level alongside the introduction of a B Team.

Andy Watkins will fill the academy manager’s job on a temporary basis while the club look for a successor.

Litherland, from Great Harwood, was a semi-professional footballer with the likes of Bacup Borough and Accrington Stanley, which is where he began in coaching with the Under-18s.

He moved to Gigg Lane in 2013, initially as the Shakers’ lead youth development phase coach before taking charge of the academy structure a few years later.

At Bury he was part of a set-up which brought through a number of young talents and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2018/19.

But the financial demise of the club, leading to their expulsion from the Football League, left Litherland needing to move on.

Alongside his general role in the academy at Lostock he has also helped Wanderers’ Under-18s finish fifth in the Youth Alliance table this season after a sixth-placed finish 12 months earlier.


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