Kyle Dempsey is planning for lift-off following a stuttering start to his Wanderers’ career.
Injuries limited Dempsey’s game-time following his January arrival from Gillingham with the midfielder making five starts and six further appearances from the bench before the end of the campaign.
But the former Carlisle, Fleetwood and Huddersfield man was a top target for the Whites during the last transfer window as a key addition to Ian Evatt's squad.
And the 26-year-old is now looking to make a major impact next term after reporting back from pre-season in tip-top shape.
“It’s probably what I needed,” said Dempsey from the Wanderers’ Portugal training base.
“I came to Bolton and was really excited. I saw how the club was, how the fans were, the drive from the gaffer and the team and I wanted to be a part of it.
“But I don’t think I was physically there, especially coming off the back end of a knee op in December.
“I just kept picking up little niggles - groins, hamstrings - and I just knew my body wasn’t there.
“I’ve spent a good six weeks in the off-season just building myself back up and getting myself to where I know I should be.
“I’ve come back and I’m flying, so I’m delighted with it.”
Dempsey – Wanderers’ final signing on deadline day at the end of January – was denied a regular run in the side but still helped the Whites finish last season with a flourish as they secured ninth spot in League One on the back of a sequence of just three losses in 22 games.
The midfield general admits it was a frustrating start to his Wanderers’ career but with the release of the fixtures bringing next season into sharper focus, he is determined to show his true colours when the 2022/23 campaign gets under way at Ipswich Town at the end of July.
“I couldn’t really build up a three or four-game period where I could show everyone what I could do,” added Dempsey, who is fired up by the prospect of a big season for Wanderers.
“I think the fans just sort of saw glimpses, whereas this time I’ll be trying to solidify my position and show the fans what I can actually do – not just the glimpses – and try and play every game I’m available for.
“I think it’s exciting. I think you’ve seen that from the fans’ reaction as well. They are excited about this group and what we can do and what we can bring.
“Now it’s down to us. We’ve got to deliver 110 per cent on a daily basis and take that into Saturdays and get as many points as possible.”