Antoni Sarcevic played an influential role in Plymouth Argyle’s promotion from Sky Bet League Two in the season just finished, and the Manchester-born midfielder spoke to bwfc.co.uk shortly after completing a move to Bolton Wanderers and becoming Ian Evatt’s second summer signing.
He said: ‘I’m delighted that it’s finally done now and I’m over the moon to get this deal sorted and sign for this Football Club.
‘It started out as interest from afar and it’s stemmed into serious interest in the last couple of weeks. It’s a decision that was easy to make.’
Returning to the North West of England and much nearer to his roots, Sarcevic knows all about the stature of Bolton Wanderers and explained how eager he was to get the move completed for a number of reasons.
‘The club speaks for itself really doesn’t it? As soon as Bolton Wanderers come to try and sign you it’s a massive plus. When I found out of the interest it was a move that I wanted to get done straight away.
‘I’m a North West lad, so I know this is a massive club. It’s one that I’m proud to be associated with and I can’t wait to get going.
‘Coming back up North was a massive factor for me and being able to get my family back up here. As soon as Bolton came knocking, like I said before it was a move that I wanted to get done.'
Wanderers Head Coach Ian Evatt has only been in the job for a couple of weeks but has done some great business already in that time – with the arrivals of Eoin Doyle and Sarcevic catching the eyes of many. The midfielder admits he’s excited to be working for the former Barrow Manager.
‘I spoke to him (Ian Evatt) before I came here and he sold me on the club and the things he wants to do here. He didn’t really have to sell me the club because as I said it speaks for itself.
‘It’s exciting to be working with the gaffer and after what he did at his previous club, he wants to get this club moving forward and so do I.’
The 28 year-old knows League Two better than most and during a professional career that has spanned a decade so far, he has earned promotion from the fourth tier on three occasions with Fleetwood Town and Plymouth Argyle (twice).
‘I was part of a team that earned promotion from League Two this year with Plymouth and obviously I know this league well, I’ve had a few promotions. That’s something I want to do with Bolton, I want to help to get the club moving in the right direction again.
‘You need a good squad and a good backroom staff to succeed at this level, and that’s what we’ve got here at the minute. The club wants to move forward and the gaffer and the likes of myself coming in and other players – hopefully it will only make for a successful season.'
Earning the Plymouth Argyle Player of the Year award for the 2019/20 season, Sarcevic has enjoyed a hugely successful last 12 months with Argyle and he is hoping to carry on his scintillating form with new employers, Bolton Wanderers. Sarcevic spoke about his last season and the type of things he’ll bring to the table.
‘A new gaffer came in at Plymouth (Ryan Lowe), he implemented his ideas and that suited me down to a T. Obviously I showed that on the pitch and had a good season there last season; now I want to bring that to Bolton Wanderers and help this club and this team get back up to League One.
‘I’m an all-action midfielder who gets up and down the pitch, but a massive part of my game is goals and assists and hopefully I can do well on those fronts this season.'
Plymouth Argyle reached the second round of the FA Cup last season before an eventual exit at the hands of Bristol Rovers and in the first round they edged past Wanderers in a 1-0 victory at the University of Bolton Stadium.
Sarcevic played 90 minutes as Callum McFadzean’s goal saw the Pilgrims progress and he is glad to have the opportunity to be playing on a regular basis at the home of Bolton Wanderers after completing his move.
‘When you come to this stadium, it’s a great place to play football and you want to come here and do well. Now I’m on the other side, I want to make sure that teams come here and fear us, and make sure we’re a big force in this league.'
With talk of the season returning by mid-September at the latest and pre-season training getting underway shortly, the new signing says he’ll be happy to be back after what has been an extraordinarily lengthy amount of time without football.
‘I can’t wait to get back onto the grass. It’s been a tough few months and football-wise everything has come to a bit of a standstill. It will be nice to get back out there and get going again.’