Bolton Wanderers F.C. Reserves and Academy

Last updated
Bolton Wanderers Development Squad
Full name Bolton Wanderers F.C. Development Squad
Nickname(s)The Trotters, Junior Whites
Founded1874 (as Christ Church FC)
GroundCounty Ground
Leyland
Manager Flag of England.svg Sam Hird (reserves)
Flag of England.svg Mark Litherland (Under-18s)
League The Central League (Reserves)
EFL Youth Alliance North West (Under-18s)
2020–2021EFL Youth Alliance North West, 6th of 14 (Under-18s)
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

They participate in the Manchester Senior Cup, although in recent years the teams entered in this competition have featured an increasing number of youth players.

Contents

Bolton Wanderers Development Squad play their home games at the County Ground in Leyland, the home ground of the Lancashire F.A.

Notable graduates of the squad include former captain Kevin Nolan.

Development Squad

Bolton first ever reserve team was set up in 1921. [1]

In August 2016, the U21 side was renamed as the U23 side, after a consultation involving all 31 clubs in the Professional Development League 2, voted in favour of the new age parameters. [2]

Due to Bolton dropping to Category Three in March 2020 Bolton had no Development Squad in the 2020–21 season. [3] This was the first time since the reserves were created in 1921 that Bolton had not had a reserve team. [1]

After nearly a year without reserve team football, Bolton started setting up reserve friendlies in March 2021 so that their fringe players could get game time and plan to relaunch a reserve team for the 2021–2022 season. [4] Bolton Reserves entered The Central League starting with the 2021–2022 season. [5]

The Academy

The Bolton Wanderers Academy was established in 1998 and is based at the club and the main training ground. It replaced the older, more informal youth system, and enabled the club to focus their youth development and scouting, employing new techniques and FA standards.

It was last overseen by former Bolton Wanderers F.C. player Jimmy Phillips. It provides a stepping stone for youngsters to progress to the highest levels of football at Bolton Wanderers.

Scouts attend many local youth matches looking for talented boys. A boy will then be invited to attend training sessions at the Academy. They are taken in as young as the age of eight. At this age, the boys start by simply attending after-school training sessions, but as they reach their middle-teens, their academic needs will be taken over by the Academy if they are deemed athletically talented enough.

Between the ages of eight and twelve the boys play in eight-a-side games of three twenty-minute periods. It allows the boys to play as defenders or as attackers in small groups within a system and is not as physically demanding as playing eleven-a-side matches.

The first player to graduate from the Academy to the first team was the former club captain, Kevin Nolan who had previously been on the youth books of Liverpool. He has since been followed into the first team by Joey O'Brien, Ricardo Vaz Tê, Nicky Hunt. Josh Vela, Zach Clough and Rob Holding amongst others.

In December 2012, the Bolton Academy was awarded Elite status by the Premier League. [6]

In June 2015, it was announced that the club had sought to downgrade from a Category One status in order to save money. [7] On March 2020, the club announced it would down grade to Category Three. [3]

Players

Academy (Under-18s)

As of July 2021.

NamePositionDate of BirthNationality
Joseph BrownDefender23 April 2004 (age 17) Flag of England.svg
Joel BurgessDefender Flag of England.svg
Maxwell ConwayMidfielder5 September 2003 (age 17) Flag of England.svg
Wes FrimpongDefender Flag of England.svg
Mitch HenryStriker2 September 2003 (age 17) Flag of England.svg
Layton KirnonStriker Flag of England.svg
Kian Le FondreMidfielder2 February 2005 (age 16) Flag of England.svg
Ellis LitherlandGoalkeeper5 May 2004 (age 17) Flag of England.svg
Rio McEvoyStriker Ulster Banner.svg
Arran PettiferMidfielder1 October 2003 (age 17) Flag of England.svg
Sonny Sharples-AhmedMidfielder3 March 2005 (age 16) Flag of England.svg
Jack ThompsonDefender2 November 2003 (age 17) Flag of England.svg
Lamine ToureDefender24 December 2003 (age 17) Flag of England.svg
Mathew TweedleyMidfielder16 April 2004 (age 17) Flag of England.svg
Max WilcoxMidfielder11 September 2003 (age 17) Flag of England.svg

Managerial History

Reserves/Development Squad

Youth Team/Academy

Staff

In addition, the academy employ staff from the first-team.

Graduates

The following players have been associated with the Bolton Wanderers Academy and have gone on to play league football for Bolton or other clubs since the Academy was founded in 1998.

Academy Graduates who have made at least one senior appearance for the Bolton Wanderers first team.

Other players associated with the Academy who have made at least one senior appearance for league clubs in Britain or abroad.

Notes

  1. 1 2 The Bolton News: "Bolton re-structure means end of the road for reserve team football"
  2. "Professional Development League switches to Under-23 format".
  3. 1 2 https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/18277578.bolton-announce-plans-step-category-three-academy/
  4. The Bolton News: "Bolton boss Ian Evatt on potential return of second-string football"
  5. [https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/19417178.bolton-boss-ian-evatt-explains-decision-bring-back-reserve-side/ The Bolton News: "Bolton boss Ian Evatt explains decision to bring back reserve side"
  6. "Academy Awarded Top Status".
  7. "UPDATED: Wanderers to save £1 million by downgrading youth academy". The Bolton News.

Related Research Articles

Kevin Nolan English association football player(born 1982)

Kevin Anthony Jance Nolan is an English former professional footballer and current first team coach for Premier League club West Ham United. He has represented England at under-21 level.

Gavin McCann English footballer

Gavin Peter McCann is an English retired footballer who played as a midfielder in the English Premier League. He has one England cap to his name, playing against Spain at Villa Park in 2001. He was most recently the Under-18s assistant manager at Bolton Wanderers.

The Academy of West Ham United F.C. is recognised as one of the most successful in modern football, hence its nickname the Academy of Football.

Ricardo Vaz TĂȘ Portuguese footballer

Ricardo Jorge Vaz Tê is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Primeira Liga club Portimonense.

Julian Timothy Darby is an English former professional footballer who played as a defender and midfielder from 1986 until 2001, notably in the Premier League for Coventry City.

Keith Hill (footballer) English footballer and manager

Keith John Hill is an English professional football manager and former player.

Mark Beevers English footballer

Mark Geoffrey Beevers is an English professional footballer who plays as a defender for Championship club Peterborough United.

Sam Hird English footballer

Adrian Samuel Hird is a former English professional footballer who played primarily as a central defender, he also played as a defensive midfielder. He is currently the First Team Coach and Reserve Team Manager at League One side Bolton Wanderers.

James Neil Phillips is a former professional football player whose last role was as Academy Director at Bolton Wanderers after spending a number of years as youth team coach. In his playing career he turned out for a number of clubs, including Bolton, Middlesbrough, Oxford United and Rangers. Whilst at Bolton he played in the 1995 Football League Cup Final.

Chris Herd Australian soccer player

Christopher Herd is an Australia international footballer who plays for Malaysia Super League club Terengganu FC. Herd can be described as a utility player who can play in a number of positions, including central defence, full back and central midfield. He has represented Australia at under-20 level, and won his first senior cap in September 2014.

Charlton Athletic F.C. Under-23s and Academy Football club

The Charlton Athletic Academy refers to the teams and players in the youth system of English professional football club Charlton Athletic; they play the majority of their home games at the club's training ground in New Eltham, London.

Leeds United Football Club Under–23s is the most senior of Leeds United's youth teams and the club's former reserve team. As of the 2021–22 season, they play in the Premier League 2, the highest tier of the Professional Development League, following promotion in 2021. The team host most of their home games at the club's Thorp Arch training complex, with some matches also taking place at Elland Road.

The 2010–11 season was Bolton Wanderers's twelfth season in the Premier League, and their tenth consecutive season in the top-flight of English football. It was the second season with shirt sponsors 188BET.

The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) is a youth development scheme initiated by the Premier League. The intention of the EPPP is to improve the quality and quantity of home-grown players produced by top English clubs. Measures introduced by the EPPP to free up movement of younger players by establishing a hierarchy of association football academies in England and fixing the transfer fees between academies have proved controversial and some smaller clubs closed their academies in response to the changes.

The 2013–14 season was Bolton Wanderers' second consecutive season in the Football League Championship following their relegation from the Premier League in 2012.

The 2014–15 season was Bolton Wanderers's third consecutive season in the Football League Championship following their relegation from the Premier League in 2012.

Alex Perry is an English footballer who last played as a midfielder for Wigan Athletic.

William Francis Crellin is an English professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Fleetwood Town.

Harry William Brockbank is an English footballer who plays for League Two club Bolton Wanderers. He can play in every defensive position and can even play as an emergency goalkeeper.

The 2020–21 Bolton Wanderers season is the club's first season in the fourth tier of English football since 1988, and only their second overall, following their relegation from EFL League One. It covers the period from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.