Top Six - What Bolton Fans Can Look Forward to in 2015/16

  • August 05, 2015 | By Sean McNeilly
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In our debut edition of 'Top Six', we look at a half-dozen features Bolton fans have to look forward to going into the new season.

Wanderers begin the new campaign at home to Derby County on Saturday, with many bookmakers tipping the club for relegation into League One.

With nine months of football to be played between now and the end of the season, we lay out the six likely talking points on supporters' minds.

6 - The Freebie

Stephen Dobbie has been somewhat of a journeyman so far in his career, but he seems to have impressed Neil Lennon during a trial period this summer.

The Scottish playmaker featured heavily in Bolton's pre-season friendlies and his talent shone through enough to be given a contract. Just how much he'll feature through the season is yet to be seen, but he is certainly a good option to have in the squad.

5 - Main Man Madine

Gary Madine looks set to spearhead the Wanderers attack this season and the former Sheffield Wednesday forward certainly looks in the mood for goals, after grabbing four in pre-season.

Eyebrows were raised, albeit slightly, when Madine was announced as a Wanderer early in the summer, so he'll be keen to impress the White Army and show he was worth the punt.

4 - New 'Number 1'

Bolton waved goodbye to Adam Bogdan and Andy Lonergan this summer - two goalkeepers who were very reliable every time they stepped between the sticks - and replacing them was not to be taken lightly.

Ben Amos was the obvious choice after a superb loan spell last season and he will now take the number one jersey for the first time on a permanent contract since going through the ranks at Manchester United.

He will be keen to pay back the faith put in him by Lennon as soon as he can. He already has the backing of the fans and here's hoping the performances pick up from where they left off last season.

3 - Captain Pratley

I for one am intrigued to see how the new captain of Bolton Wanderers steps up to the plate come the start of the season.

In a squad full of experienced players, including the likes of David Wheater and Emile Heskey, it was a real pat on the back from Lennon to the former Swansea City man when he was given the armband.

Pratley's performances in a Bolton shirt since his arrival have been hit and miss, but there is no doubting he has the ability to be a leader. Pre-season has been very positive, but the big questions will be answered when the Whites take to the pitch in the Championship.

2 - The Young Guns

When Wanderers' home kit was revealed, the main advertisement featured three players - Zach Clough, Max Clayton and Josh Vela.

Trying to sell kits to the younger generation might have been one aim, but the message to me was 'these boys are the future'. Each are talented in their own right and certainly have futures in the Premier League, so this season could hinge on these boys' performances.

While Clayton continues his rehabilitation after suffering a knee injury last season, Clough and Vela look set to start against Derby on Saturday. If they can all stay fit through the majority of the season it would only be positive for the Whites. These lads can take us places.

1 - Lennon's First Full Season

The purse strings at the Macron are so tight they make Greece look flush, but Lennon knew the score when he took over last season and seems to get the best from what he is given.

After such a positive start to his tenure, there was a concern that he would have been tempted by pastures new and not be here at all. But, thankfully, so far, reported interest has been only that - reported.

Free transfers have been the order of business so far this summer and that will likely be the best we can hope for, except maybe a shrewd loan here and there. But it's all about what Lennon can do with the players he assembles, and the possibilities are endless.

The bookies see us as relegation candidates, but we have a winner at the helm. An exciting season awaits.

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
View Full Standings >>


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32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
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5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
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1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston