It seemed like an inconceivable task for a lot of the season, but Bolton Wanderers somehow managed to secure promotion back to League One at the first time of asking.
That is despite being in the bottom half of the table for the majority of the first half of the season, but winning 16 of their last 22 matches in League Two meant that Ian Evatt was able to mastermind a return to the third tier of English football for the Trotters.
With their divisional status confirmed for the 2021/22 campaign, work has begun behind the scenes in an attempt to sort the squad out ahead of pre-season.
Quite a lot of recent Bolton signings penned just one-year contracts, and because of that there is quite a few departures when it comes to the club’s retained and released list.
Heading the list of departures is striker Shaun Miller, who made 20 league appearances and scored three goals for Wanderers, along with attacking midfielder Arthur Gnahoua who played 28 times for Bolton.
8 of these 20 players never scored a league goal for Bolton Wanderers – Can you identify them?
The rest of the players leaving are made up of barely-used players like Jak Hickman and Muhammadu Faal and youngsters such as Callum King-Harmes, Sonny Graham and Nathan Whalley.
Evatt is aiming to keep a lot of the squad around for next season though as new deals have been offered to experienced pros like Alex Baptiste, Matt Gilks and Andrew Tutte, along with Ryan Delaney, Harry Brockbank, Lloyd Isgrove and some development squad players.
The announcement has come with a mixed reaction – some are happy with the deals that have been done whilst others believe the amount of new deals given out amounts to the club struggling for money next season.
I’d have sooner retained Arthur than Conley or Crawford but if they’re under contract not a lot we can do.
— Gary Jackson (@garysjackson) May 19, 2021
Well done to all. Debating on a few that haven’t even been on the bench in the league all season. Very strange.
— mark crowther (@mark_crowther3) May 19, 2021
Was hoping we'd keep Sonny Graham, reckon the lad's got potential. Otherwise, looks alright 👍
— Rob Marsh (@BobGeologyJeff) May 19, 2021
Perfect, absolutely perfect. #BWFC
— Freddie (@FreddieBWFC) May 19, 2021
— Tom (@tksalwander) May 19, 2021
Arthur will be missed. Legend
— George Scott (@georgescott___) May 19, 2021
No complaints there 👍🏻 https://t.co/obfF4BSOW0
— Josh (@Jsh__Brn) May 19, 2021
Think that’s spot on. Huge thanks to the players leaving us because we couldn’t have done it without some of them! https://t.co/Xlb10VKac1
— Jonnie Tickle (@JonnieTickle) May 19, 2021
Very interesting https://t.co/Oox7HqHeYC
— Chris Eccles (@EcclesHeckles) May 19, 2021