Craddock Secures First-Team Role

Matt Craddock smile

Bolton Wanderers are delighted to confirm the appointment of Matt Craddock as the Club’s new first-team coach, writes Pete Oliver.

Craddock has successfully filled the role on an interim basis since the departure of Sam Hird a month ago as the Whites have won five successive games to advance in the FA Cup and climb to third place in the League One table.

The 39-year-old moved up from his position as Head Coach of the B Team and now becomes a permanent member of manager Ian Evatt’s backroom staff, along with assistant manager Peter Atherton and goalkeeping coach Matt Gilks.

The appointment follows a thorough recruitment process involving some outstanding outside applicants, with Craddock chosen as the best addition to the management team following his performance in the role and a seamless transition over the past few weeks.

Whites’ boss Evatt said: “It's been a process that has lasted since Sam left with some excellent applications made for the position, so this certainly hasn't just been the easy option.

Matt Craddock pitch

“We've been extremely impressed with Matt and we want a culture where we promote from within. That's what we should stand for and he deserves this.

“He's taken to the position like a duck to water. He obviously had an advantage knowing the group and knowing he was going to fit culturally, but I've been really impressed with what he's done with the players and the information he helps me with.

“The relationship he has with the other staff is also hugely important and he deserves this appointment. We are delighted to have him.”

Craddock initially joined Wanderers in September, 2021 as Head of Coaching after previously working for the FA and spending five years at Preston North End.

He said: “I’m really pleased to have been given this opportunity and to join the first-team staff on a permanent basis.

“I have really enjoyed my involvement so far and am very grateful to the players, staff and manager, in particular, for their support in helping me become part of the coaching team and integrate into the role.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with the players in implementing the coaching and development strategies we have in place and, hopefully, building on this excellent run the team is on.”

A replacement for Craddock’s previous role in charge of the B Team will be confirmed in due course.

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