Evatt: New Deals Fully Deserved

Ian Evatt says the new contracts awarded to four members of his first-team squad are a fitting reward for their efforts in a Wanderers’ shirt.

Defender Gethin Jones and midfielders Kieran Lee, MJ Williams and George Thomason have all signed extended deals with the Whites.

Jones is now signed up to June, 2024, while the others have agreed enhanced deals running until the end of the 2022/23 season.

“We want to be a football club that rewards performance and rewards success,” said Evatt.

“We feel like those lads have been out-performing and out-valuing what we were paying them so we want to do right by them, which is good for everybody.

“It’s good from our side and it’s good for them to secure their futures here.”

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At 20, Thomason played a big part in last season’s promotion success after stepping up from non-league football.

And Jones, 26, Williams, 25, and Lee, 33, are established as senior men in Evatt’s side as they get to grips with League One.

“The three lads outside of Kieran – Gethin, MJ and George – are relatively young players who are still improving and still learning, playing regular football,” added the Wanderers’ boss.

“It’s great to tie down our assets and Kieran, since he has come to the club has been absolutely outstanding.

“He’s a shining example for our younger players during training how to carry yourself as a professional footballer and his performances on the pitch have been first class.”

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All four are likely to be involved against Stockport County in Sunday’s FA Cup first-round tie at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Harry Brockbank and Josh Sheehan are expected to shake off minor knocks to be in contention and striker Amadou Bakayoko is also back in the frame after returning to fitness along with wideman Xavier Amaechi, who is stepping up his comeback from a pre-season injury.

“Both trained fully. Both had no issues or problems and came through fine,” confirmed Evatt.

“It was great to see them both back on the grass. Baka’s not been out for too long but it’s good to have him back and it’s great for Xav to be back amongst it.

“We have to be patient with him. We want to get him back in the first team as quickly as we possibly can but we have to be fair and do right by him and make sure he’s fully up to speed before we throw him back in.”

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