Bolton Wanderers had a successful season this year with many bright sparks helping push the squad up the table.
Unfortunately for Ian Evatt’s side the play-offs were just out of reach for them this season but there are plenty of good foundations in place looking ahead to next season.
However, Ian Evatt will also have a job on his hand as he seeks to try and regain the services of some loan players he had this season.
Defender George Johnston has pinpointed two of those crucial players as being Marlon Fossey and James Trafford.
Fossey came on loan from Fulham, making 16 appearances and scoring one goal before picking up an injury that ended his season.
Trafford arrived from Manchester City and became the number one goalkeeper at the club making 22 appearances and setting a club record of clean sheets in his first four games.
Both players joined the club in the January transfer window and Johnston believes they were both invaluable in the second half of the season as he told Manchester Evening News: “Marlon brought a lot of energy, it was something we needed on the right side. He was massive for us, defensively and going forward. He was a huge part of our game really.
“Traff behind us, he is a young lad but he does make some very important stops. I think we communicate well in the game, the whole backline and Traff.
“Traff is a young lad, we kind of help him as much as possible with playing out because he has not been here all season – he doesn’t know all the ideas. But I think he has dealt with it well and the pressure of big crowds, he has dealt with it well for a young lad.”
Both players have now returned to their parent clubs where they each have a year left on their contract but Evatt is keen to bring them back to the club next season.
Quiz: Which club did Bolton Wanderers sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?
Both players have done very well since they came to Bolton in January and have been able to have an impact in a short amount of time.
It’s no wonder Evatt is keen to get both players back next season considering how close they came to the play-offs and therefore he will be keen to keep a lot of the base of the team the same, whilst adding a few stronger additions.
If he does get the players, this is probably something he will be keen to have sorted before pre-season so they get the maximum time to work with the club.
Johnston pointed out that Trafford didn’t know all the ideas and therefore, the earlier they are at the club, the more they will know about what the club’s vision is.
If Evatt can get these two names down for next season, they will no doubt feel confident about their success next season.