Play It Again Sam!

First-team coach Sam Hird is staying put as an integral part of the Wanderers’ management staff.

Hird had attracted interest from National League side York City in their search for a new manager.

But the 35-year-old has declined an approach as he looks to extend his working relationship with Wanderers’ boss Ian Evatt and continue the Whites’ progress.

“He’s very happy here and very happy at being a part of this football club,” said Evatt.

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“It’s good for me to have people trying to approach and take my staff.

“It means they’re doing things right and we’re doing things right.”

Evatt played alongside Hird at Chesterfield before signing the former defender at Barrow and then bringing him to Wanderers as part of his backroom staff in July, 2021

Hird was also re-united with ex-Barrow assistant boss Peter Atherton and a number of other former Bluebirds’ personnel at the University of Bolton Stadium as the Whites looked to build on their promotion from League Two in Evatt's first season in charge.

“I have a fantastic team behind me,” added the Wanderers’ boss.

“We’ve got a real good team of staff and it’s a huge team effort.

“I’m really fortunate to be the face of the football department but I have some great staff behind me that make this club function and tick along on a daily basis.

“I’m delighted that Sam’s staying. I don’t think it will be the only challenge that comes from afar for one of my members of staff but, again, that speaks volumes for the good work we’re doing here.”

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Wanderers return to League One action on Friday night when they face Bristol Rovers at the University of Stadium.

The Whites could move up to fourth in the table but will be missing midfield man Kyle Dempsey.

Scans have confirmed Dempsey suffered a torn ankle ligament in Wanderers’ Papa Johns Trophy win over Barrow last Tuesday night which will keep him out for between three and four weeks.

“It’s disappointing for him because we felt he was starting to get up to the form we know he can show,” said Evatt.

“But he will be back. He’s determined and he’s got his head firmly set on being back for the Christmas period and we’re looking forward to having him back.”

Defender Will Aimson has returned to training following a hamstring injury but wideman Lloyd Isgrove is still a week away from recovering from a hamstring strain of his own as Wanderers gear up for the festive period.

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