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Bolton Wanderers F.C. Reserves and Academy

They 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
Full nameBolton Wanderers F.C. Development Squad
Nickname(s)The Trotters
Founded1874 (as Christ Church FC)
GroundCounty Ground
ManagerEngland David Lee (Under-23s) & England Jimmy Phillips (Under-18s)
LeagueProfessional U23 Development League 2

Professional U23 Development League 2, 1st (Winners)
Professional U18 Development League 2, 2nd
Current season

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

Notable graduates of the squad include former captain Kevin Nolan.

The AcademyEdit

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 SquadEdit

The following players are expected to play for the Bolton development squad during the 2019–20 Professional Development League, League 2 (North Division). They will compete in the league along with Barnsley, Birmingham City, Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic, Colchester United, Coventry City, Crewe Alexandra, Crystal Palace, Hull City, Leeds United, Millwall, Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan Athletic 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 University of Bolton Stadium as per FA rules introduced in 2012. In the case of the current season of 2019-20, there will be five matches scheduled to take place at the University of Bolton Stadium and the rest of the home fixtures will take place at the County Ground, home of the Lancashire F.A..

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]

Managerial HistoryEdit

Reserves/Development SquadEdit

Youth Team/AcademyEdit

Academy (Under-18s)Edit

As of July 2016.[6]

Name Position Date of Birth Nationality
Matthew Alexander Goalkeeper (2002-05-07) 7 May 2002 (age 17)  
Markus Assarsson Defender  
Ryan Colvin Midfielder  
Myles Edmondson Defender (2001-10-15) 15 October 2001 (age 18)  
Jay Fitzmartin Midfielder  
Luke Hutchinson Goalkeeper  
Finlay Hurford-Lockett Midfielder (2003-04-10) 10 April 2003 (age 16)  
Callum King-Harmes Midfielder (2002-04-19) 19 April 2002 (age 17)  
Kwame Osigwe Midfielder (2002-01-11) 11 January 2002 (age 17)  
D'Neal Richards Defender (2002-03-01) 1 March 2002 (age 17)  
Regan Riley Defender  
Adam Senior Defender (2002-01-20) 20 January 2002 (age 17)  
Nathan Whalley Defender  
Joe White Defender (2002-01-18) 18 January 2002 (age 17)  


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.


  1. ^ "Academy Awarded Top Status".
  2. ^ "UPDATED: Wanderers to save £1 million by downgrading youth academy". The Bolton News.
  3. ^ "Wanderers' Under-23s and Under-18s fixtures confirmed". Bolton Wanderers F.C.
  4. ^ "Professional Development League switches to Under-23 format".
  5. ^ "Youth coach Nicky Spooner helps Bolton Wanderers get back to the future". The Bolton News. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  6. ^ "The low-down on Wanderers' 2016/17 scholars". Retrieved 2016-07-05.

External linksEdit