Bolton Wanderers F.C. Reserves and Academy

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Bolton Wanderers Development Squad
Full name Bolton Wanderers F.C. Development Squad
Nickname(s) The Trotters
Founded 1874 (as Christ Church FC)
Ground County Ground
Manager England David Lee (Under-23s) & England Jimmy Phillips (Under-18s)
League Professional U21 Development League 1 Division 2

Barclays U21 Premier League Division 2, 9th
Barclays Under 18 Premier League North Division, 12th
Current season

Bolton Wanderers Development Squad are the youth team of Bolton Wanderers and play in the FA Premier U21 League, Division 2. They also participate in the Manchester Senior Cup, although in recent years the teams entered in this competition have featured an increasing number of youth players.

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

Throughout the history of Bolton Wanderers F.C. many of the club's best known players have progressed through the reserve team. These include former captain Kevin Nolan.

The Academy[edit]

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 is 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.[1]

In June 2015, it was announced that the club had sought to downgrade from a Category One status in order to save money.[2]


Development Squad[edit]

The following players are expected to play for the Bolton development squad during the 2016–17 Professional Development League, League 2 (North Division). They will compete in the league along with Barnsley, Birmingham City, Bristol City, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic, Colchester United, Coventry City, Crewe Alexandra, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Millwall, Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Watford.[3]

Three players over the age of 23 and players from the U18 side are also eligible to play in these fixtures and the games will usually take place on a Monday afternoon or evening. Furthermore, at least two of the club's development fixtures must be played at the Macron Stadium as per FA rules introduced in 2012.

In addition the U-23 team will take part in the Manchester Senior Cup and Lancashire Senior Cup in the 2015-16 season. Bolton are the current holders of the Manchester Senior Cup having beaten Manchester City 1-0 on 30 August 2015.

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.[4]

The development squad is managed by former Bolton midfielder David Lee after he was promoted to the role ahead of the 2016-17 season.[5]

As of 1 September 2015[6] Squad Numbers refer to players' first team squad number (for season 2015–16), where applicable. Reserve and youth games are 1–11.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
35 Republic of Ireland FW Conor Wilkinson
37 England MF Alex Perry
38 England MF Jack Earing
39 England GK Jake Turner
43 Iran FW Alex Samizadeh
50 Finland GK William Jaaskelainen
No. Position Player
England DF Alex Honeyball
England DF Callum Spooner
- England DF Harry Brockbank
Australia MF Hyuga Tanner
England DF Sam Lavelle
England MF Jeff King

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
28 England MF Tom Walker (at Bury F.C. until 30 June 2017)[7]
34 England FW George Newell (at AFC Fylde until 30 June 2017)[8]

Managerial History[edit]

Reserves/Development Squad[edit]

Youth Team/Academy[edit]

Academy (Under-18s)[edit]

As of July 2016.[9]

Name Position Date of Birth Nationality
Anas Abdo Striker (1999-03-05) 5 March 1999 (age 18) England
James Aspinall Goalkeeper England
Harry Brockbank Defender (1998-09-26) 26 September 1998 (age 18) England
Jack Earing Midfielder (1999-01-21) 21 January 1999 (age 18) England
Jack Everest Striker (1998-11-13) 13 November 1998 (age 18) England
Matthew Fearnley Striker England
Jordan Grant Defender (1998-09-14) 14 September 1998 (age 18) England
William Hartshorne Defender England
Tom Grivosti Defender (1999-06-15) 15 June 1999 (age 17) England
Alex Honeyball Defender (1998-01-26) 26 January 1998 (age 19) England
Will Jaaskelainen Goalkeeper (1998-07-25) 25 July 1998 (age 18) Finland
Brandon Lee Defender England
Cole Lonsdale Defender (1999-06-16) 16 June 1999 (age 17) England
Matthew Marsh Midfielder (1998-11-21) 21 November 1998 (age 18) England
Cameron Moore Striker Republic of Ireland
Luca Navarro Striker England
Ronaldo Pearson Striker (1998-09-08) 8 September 1998 (age 18) England
Alex Perry Midfield (1998-03-04) 4 March 1998 (age 19) England
Dennis Politic Striker (2000-03-05) 5 March 2000 (age 17) Romania
Callum Spooner Defender (1998-02-15) 15 February 1998 (age 19) England
Jake Turner Goalkeeper (1999-02-25) 25 February 1999 (age 18) England
Ryan White Striker (1998-11-09) 9 November 1998 (age 18) England

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


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.


External links[edit]