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OFFICIAL - Will Forrester signs three year contract

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Wanderers have secured their fifth signing of the summer with the capture of highly-regarded Port Vale defender Will Forrester.

The Whites are delighted to have completed a deal for one of the EFL’s top young defensive talents after paying an undisclosed fee for the 22-year-old.

Forrester has signed a three-year contract at the Toughsheet Community Stadium and joins striker Dan Nlundulu, wing-back Josh Dacres-Cogley and goalkeepers Nathan Baxter and Joel Coleman in joining Ian Evatt’s squad ahead of the new season.

Forrester, who came through the Academy system at Stoke City before making his EFL debut in the Championship in May, 2021, joined Port Vale last summer.

And after an outstanding season in League One with the Valiants, which saw him take his senior appearances to one short of 50, he now makes the switch to Wanderers for the next step of a burgeoning career.

“I really enjoyed my time at Port Vale and I feel like a developed a hell of lot there. I owe all of the staff and the players there a lot for taking a chance on me from when I came from Stoke,” said Forrester.

“The reason I went to Port Vale was to play football and now this move has come to light and hopefully I can go on and play even more in time.

“When this opportunity came to light it was one I couldn’t turn down. Bolton is a huge club and I want to be part of this club and hopefully get it back to where it belongs.”

Forrester has played predominantly as a right-sided central defender but is at happy playing across a back three.

The Alsager-born player, who celebrated his 22nd birthday in the last week of June, is comfortable in possession and as well as liking to defend one-on-one is also assured playing out and passing from the back.

As well as perfectly fitting the Wanderers’ playing blueprint now, the Whites are also looking forward to seeing Forrester develop and grow his game further as part of their set-up.

Forrester twice faced Wanderers last season in helping Vale re-establish themselves in League One following promotion in 2022.

And having made the switch to a club that reached last season’s League One play-off semi-finals, he’s delighted to be able to call Wanderers home.

“When we came to play here it was the first time I’d been to the stadium. It kind of takes your breath away. It’s a Premier League stadium, really,” Forrester added.

“I was delighted to play on the pitch and now I can say this is my home, so I’m hopefully going to play there many more times.

“From what I’ve seen there’s a very good buzz about the place. Losing in the play-offs was obviously disappointing but, I think, will only make the club stronger and we will hopefully go one better this year and go all the way.

“I’m looking forward to playing under the gaffer because I know they like to play football, so it suits me perfectly. When I knew about the interest, the first thing you look for is how does the team play?

“Bolton suits me down to a ‘T’ the way that they play, so hopefully I can go and show what I’m about and give the fans something to cheer about. I’m delighted to be here.”


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

At least we know where a big chunk of that bond money is going, we seem to be splashing the cash at the moment.


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Norpig wrote:At least we know where a big chunk of that bond money is going, we seem to be splashing the cash at the moment.
£200k on a project is the way we're going. Not sure whether or not we'll sell another defender but all our purchases so far have been to shore up one of the best defences in the league last season. He's young with potential and we seem to be getting a reputation as a club that develops players, so why not our own for a change? Evatt said a chunk of the budget would be spent on bringing the best out of what we have.

I just hope that there's as much money as they're implying is available to give us the midfield that can win it - with our coaching.


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

'Suits me perfectly!' New signing Forrester feeling comfortable at Bolton

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Will Forrester believes he will fit in just fine at Wanderers after becoming Ian Evatt’s fifth summer signing yesterday.

Port Vale say they received a “substantial fee” for the 22-year-old centre-half, who has signed a three-year contract at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Forrester, who has played Championship football with his boyhood club Stoke City, reckons he will blend in well with a defence who are encouraged to play out from the back under Ian Evatt.

“I like to play any of the three centre-half spots, I’m easy, but I pride myself on being good with the ball at my feet,” he said. “I like to step in, break lines with passes, but I love to defend as well and win my one-v-one battles.

“I am looking forward to playing under the gaffer because he wants to play football and that suits me perfectly.

“When I knew about the interest it was the first thing you look for, and Bolton suits me down to a tee the way I play. Hopefully I can go and show what I am about and give the fans something to cheer about.”

After becoming the first player in 44 years to move between Stoke and Port Vale, Forrester played one season in League One and came up against Wanderers twice last season.

In total, he played 38 times in all competitions for Vale, scoring three times.

Forrester knows the expectation riding on Wanderers’ shoulders but has picked up quickly on a positive feel within the club.

“I think from what I have seen there is a good buzz about the place,” he said. “Losing in the play-offs was obviously disappointing but I think it will only make the club stronger and hopefully we can go one better this season and go all the way.”

Wanderers begin their pre-season on Saturday at Bamber Bridge and with a few days to acclimatise, Forrester is looking forward to being involved at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

“I can’t wait to get on the training ground with the rest of the lads and get some chemistry going,” he told the club. “There’s a game at the weekend, so I am looking forward to that along with the rest of pre-season. I’m delighted to be here.”

Bamber Bridge were yet to confirm details of ticket prices for Saturday’s friendly as we went to press but an allocation of 500 has been issued by Chester for the friendly on July 15 at 3pm.

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3 for under-21s but can only be bought from the Chester ticket office in advance of the game.

Either order online or phone 01244 371376.

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