Wanderers have landed another of their leading transfer targets with highly regarded defender Eoin Toal completing a move to the University of Bolton Stadium.
The 23-year-old has joined the Whites from League of Ireland Premier Division side Derry City on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, subject to international clearance.
Toal will add to Wanderers’ central defensive options and joins Jack Iredale and the top-flight loan duo of Conor Bradley and James Trafford in strengthening Ian Evatt’s squad.
And Evatt is delighted to have secured the services of a player who can play across all the central defensive positions and has captained both Derry and Northern Ireland’s Under-21s, as well making over 150 first-team appearances in five years with the Candystripes.
“It’s been well documented how in-depth we are with our recruitment process and how we identity position specifics in players and if their attributes fit how we want them to play,” said the Wanderers’ boss.
“Eoin ticks all of those boxes. He’s a young player with a huge amount of experience – albeit in a different division; captain of a top-division team in Ireland, who has played European football and who has vast attributes we feel we can improve on.
“We know he’s got good versatility and as coaches we feel we can still improve him and he will get time to settle.
“There’s no pressure on him to hit the ground running. It’s really a bigger project for us but we’re delighted to get it done and we think we’ve got a good one.”
Armagh-born Toal left his hometown club to join Derry in 2017 and became a regular in the side the following year.
The imposing defender – who is comfortable in possession and who will bring an added presence and further leadership qualities to the Whites’ squad – helped Derry finish fourth in the league last season to again qualify for Europe and featured in their recent Europa Conference League qualifier against Latvian side Riga.
Toal has also played 20 league games for Derry this season to see them sit second in the Irish top flight behind defending champions Shamrock Rovers.
And his arrival continues an impressive recruitment drive that’s been in place since the turn of the year as Wanderers also plan for the new League One campaign without losing any key players this summer.
“The most important thing is we’ve kept all our assets,” added Evatt.
“That’s a huge positive and we’ve added some quality around what we did in January, which was important.
“We feel like we’re in a really good place.”