For the 2,500 Wanderers fans who travelled to West Brom on Saturday, the performance and subsequent victory against a team that had played in the Premier League last season illustrated many characteristics about our team.
There was desire, togetherness, skill, solidity and determination. That we played in front of a partisan sold-out Hawthorns crowd, whose united expectation was that of a home victory, and battled every single second to pick up the three points highlights the progress we have made behind the scenes over the summer.
It was particularly pleasing to see the new signings, who made their debuts, play so well and for Josh Magennis and Yanic Wildschut to get on the scoresheet was fantastic to see.
Our squad has a real strength in depth and we now have options off the bench which can make an impact and difference as witnessed on Saturday. With the quality we have in the squad, there is strong competition for a place in the starting XI which is a great situation for the manager to have to deal with.
Our recruitment has not ended and by the time we take to the field on Saturday, I am hopeful that we’ll have brought in several new faces to squad ahead of this Thursday’s transfer deadline.
The staff and players have worked so hard over the pre-season and I’m pleased for them and for all the Wanderers fans that we picked up the victory to get our campaign up and running on Day One.
I know the staff and players won’t get carried away and they’ll be working tirelessly this week to build on this victory with another powerful performance at home to Bristol City this weekend.
It would be fantastic if the crowd at the University of Bolton Stadium for this match could be boosted so you can all see for yourselves this new look team.
As you will remember from several games over the past couple of seasons, there have been occasions where the atmosphere has been intense which has played a huge part in intimidating our opponents. Let’s try and replicate this for every game as the players really respond to these levels of noise.
Season tickets can still be purchased from Bolton Central and they remain the most cost-effective way to watch Wanderers this season. Click here for more details.
Match day tickets are also on sale, so please let your friends, family and colleagues know and encourage them to get behind Phil and the lads to turn the University of Bolton Stadium into a cauldron of noise. We know you can do it!
Also, don’t forget that the new home and away kit is in stock and available to buy online or from Bolton Central. On Saturday, at The Hawthorns, I was amazed at all the shirts I saw worn by Wanderers fans.
Off the field, it’s been a busy but successful summer of major events at the stadium which culminated with Rugby League Challenge Cup semi-finals on Sunday. I’d like to thank all the BWFC and Bolton Whites Hotel staff who have worked diligently over the summer months to help put on The Killers and Little Mix concerts as well as the Rugby League matches. The University of Bolton Stadium is now firmly back on the map as a major event venue which will have a positive impact on our revenue streams going forward.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay some special praise to our Head Groundsman Chris Simm and his groundstaff who have worked around the clock to ensure that the pitch not only recovered from the concerts for the rugby, but also to make sure that it’s in top shape ahead of this weekend’s game against Bristol City.
Finally, it was brought to my attention that Paul Heathcote released a statement to the Bolton News on Saturday morning. I found this to be somewhat odd in terms of timing, given that it was before our opening match of the season and ahead of the Rugby League semi-finals, so I chose not to make an immediate response as my focus, and that of everybody else at the football club, was on the match.
What I would like to say is that there were a number of inaccuracies in the statement, which shall be addressed in due course.
But the facts are simple in that SCC/Heathcotes have committed and continue to commit a number of serious breaches of the agreement since mid-July and until they remedy these breaches and give an undertaking not to repeat them, then the dispute will roll on and the matter will be dealt with by our respective lawyers.
In the meantime, neither the club, nor l will be making any further comments on the matter. Our focus is solely fixed on building a stronger squad and having a successful season on the pitch, particularly as the concerts and rugby have been a resounding success, and we now move on to football matters.