Fresh Faces: Five Newbies Report for Bolton Training

  • June 30, 2015 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton returned to pre-season training on Monday, where five new faces were spotted in photographs released through the club's official social media channels.

A large turnover of playing staff this summer, combined with a lack of funds available for transfer activity, has left manager Neil Lennon with little option but to search the market for freebies and trialists.

Joining the likes of the returning Jay Spearing and Robert Hall at Euxton were familiar faces in Ben Amos and Jordan Lussey, while Gary Madine, Stephen Dobbie and Wilson Palacios were all pictured being put through their paces after a number of weeks away.

Below, we analyse the careers of each and assess whether they have any realistic hopes of making an impact on the Wanderers' first-team next season.

Ben Amos

Although, as yet, unconfirmed, Amos will be officially announced as a Bolton player on Wednesday, when the expiry of his contract at Manchester United will allow him to join the club on a free transfer.

Amos has been under contract at Old Trafford since 2001, aged 11, but made a total of just seven senior appearances for the Red Devils during a spell which also saw him spend time on loan at Peterborough United, Oldham Athletic, Hull City and Carlisle United.

The 25-year-old made nine appearances during a two-month loan stint with Bolton last season and impressed enough to earn a permanent move, following the summer departures of both Adam Bogdan and Andy Lonergan.


Gary Madine

Like Amos, Madine is out-of-contract on Tuesday and will have his free transfer to Bolton rubber-stamped by authories on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old, who spent most of last season on loan at Coventry City and then Blackpool, arrives at Macron Stadium looking to resurrect a career that has stalled since he was jailed in October 2013 for causing actual bodily harm.

Madine leaves Sheffield Wednesday having scored 28 goals in 113 appearances - 18 of which came during their League One promotion-winning season of 2011/12.


Stephen Dobbie

Following his release by Crystal Palace, Dobbie has been given an opportunity to prove he is still capable of playing Championship football by being invited to train with the Wanderers squad.

Despite signing a two-year contract in July 2013, Dobbie played just two games for the Eagles and was loaned to Blackpool and then Fleetwood Town for the duration of both campaigns at Selhurst Park.

The 32-year-old netted an impressive 54 goals in 97 appearances for Queen of the South between 2007 and 2009, a record which earned him a move to Swansea City. His time at the Liberty Stadium wasn't quite as successful and he has since gone on to play for Brighton & Hove Albion, as well as the aforementioned Palace, Blackpool and Fleetwood.


Wilson Palacios

Another free agent, Palacios has been invited into pre-season training with Wanderers and is likely to jet out to Austria with the first-team squad next week for friendlies against Sturm Graz and SC Paderborn.

The Honduras international is available after leaving Stoke City, but faces a fight to prove his fitness after making just 28 starts during a four-year spell at the Britannia Stadium - where he arrived in an £8million transfer from Tottenham Hotspur.

The 30-year-old, who also lists Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic amongst his former clubs, is understood to be keen to strike a deal with the Trotters, but is likely to be pushed extensively over the coming weeks.


Jordan Lussey

Like Amos, Lussey will join Bolton having left one of Europe's biggest clubs - with his contract at Liverpool due to expire on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old, who has been at Anfield since 2002, spent the closing weeks of last season on loan at Macron Stadium and made several appearances for Wanderers' development squad.

Iain Brunskill, head coach of the under-21 squad, is a former assistant technical director at the Liverpool academy and has used his contacts to strike a deal that is seen as one for the future.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
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