Things to look out for ahead of Wanderers' first 2016/17 pre-season outing on English soil
After beating Danish side FC Helsingor in their first 2016/17 pre-season outing last Saturday, Bolton Wanderers are back in action as they travel to Mansfield Town this weekend. Here are five key points to look out for.
1. Phil Parkinson's first game as manager on English soil
Having tasted victory at the first time of asking as Wanderers kick-started their pre-season preparations against FC Helsingor last weekend, Saturday's trip to Mansfield Town marks Phil Parkinson's first game on English soil in charge of the Whites. The game marks the first opportunity the majority of Bolton fans will get to see the new gaffer in action and how his Trotters side line up, now boasting an extra week of training under their belts. And with tickets now available on the day at the One Call Stadium, supporters have no excuse not turn up and back the Wanderers!
2. The new signings
Like the gaffer, Saturday's game is also the first opportunity the majority of Wanderers fans will have to see the club's new signings pull on the famous white jersey for the first time. Goalkeeper Mark Howard became Parkinson's fourth signing of the summer on Wednesday and will be hopeful of making his unofficial Bolton debut at some point on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, having all made substitute appearances against FC Helsingor, Mark Beevers, Jamie Proctor and Chris Taylor will all be eyeing up their first starts for the Trotters. And having seen the latter two combine for Wanderers' 90th minute winner against the Danes, there is excitement in the air among Whites supporters to see what else the Bolton new boys have to offer.
3. Away win
After failing to win on their travels throughout the 2015/16 season, Wanderers quickly got that particular monkey off their back courtesy of last weekend's victory over FC Helsingor. Although a non-competitive fixture, the Whites will have been relieved to clinch a maiden away win in their first outing under Parkinson, and will be determined to build on that positive start. Back-to-back away wins, anyone?
4. The ground
Saturday's outing marks Wanderers first visit to Field Mill, now christened the One Call Stadium, for 23 years! Their last visit saw them pick up a valuable point in April 1993 during the latter stages of their Division Two promotion-winning campaign, coincidentally the last time the Whites competed in the third tier. Although the oldest ground in the Football League, having hosted its first game all the way back in 1861, this weekend's match will present a generation of Bolton fans with their first opportunity to make a maiden visit to the historic ground.
5. Three weeks to go!
At 3pm on Saturday 16 July, Wanderers will be facing off against Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium. Fast forward three weeks and they will be doing the same for real in their curtain-raiser against Sheffield United at Macron Stadium. Although just one game into pre-season, the start of the 2016/17 Sky Bet League One season is almost upon us. Football is back!
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