Defender shares pride after being crowded Bolton Wanderers Player of the Season for 2015/16
Following the announcement of his Player of the Year success, Rob Holding spoke exclusively to the club about scooping the award in his inaugural season in the first team mix at Macron Stadium.
Making his bow for the club against Burton Albion in the Capital One Cup last August, the 20-year-old has since gone on to make 29 appearances for the Whites, scoring once against MK Dons earlier this year.
“It’s a massive honour for both me and my family,” said the young defender. “Even though the season has been difficult, personally it’s a good feeling and one that I’m so proud of. I’ll never forget this.
“At the start of the season, I was dreaming of playing a couple of senior games, but for it to have panned out like it has is just a dream come true. For the fans to vote me as their Player of the Year is just a huge honour and one that I’ll be forever grateful for.”
He continued, “The fans have been brilliant with me, but they’ve been fantastic with every single one of the young lads who has come through the ranks.
“If they can see that they’re hungry to play and want to play for the shirt, they’re happy – they just want to see effort and I’d like to think I’ve given them just that.”
Reflecting on his time at the club so far, Holding said, “I’ve been here for 12 years now and all that slog and hard work is made worth it with an award like this.
“To be on that trophy with so many great names though is an absolute honour – to be sharing it with the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha, Kevin Davies and Jussi Jaaskelainen, it’s the stuff dreams are made of.
“Looking back to when I was eight years old and kicking a ball in a kit that’s two sizes too big because it’d just been given to me right up to the present day where I’m fully immersed in first team, it’s just crazy.
“The coaches at the club have been a massive help to me and I genuinely cannot thank them enough for all they’ve done for me,” he added. “The likes of David Lee and Tony Kelly in the Under-18s, Nicky Spooner when I was a schoolboy and Jimmy Phillips who is a face I’ve known for many years.
“All the way through my development too, I’ve had a good group of lads around me – we grew up together and it’s brilliant that we’re all in the mix now after all these years.
“The club means a lot to all of us who’ve come through the ranks – we’ve all got that affinity with Bolton now and even when the time comes that we’re not here anymore, it’ll always be a part of us because Bolton Wanderers help to make us.”
Read Holding’s full in-depth interview in this weekend’s edition of the club’s matchday programme which also features chairman Ken Anderson’s column, interviews with David Lee and Iain Brunskill, features with Oscar Threlkeld and Ben Amos and the low-down on Hull City.
Priced at £3, copies will be available around the ground.
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