Craddock Steps Up

Matt Craddock pitch

Matt Craddock is to step up from his role in charge of the B Team to act as Wanderers’ interim first-team coach, writes Pete Oliver.

With Sam Hird this week ending his two-and-a-half-year stay with the Whites to take up a role with the Professional Footballers’ Association, Wanderers’ boss Ian Evatt has supplemented his coaching staff with the elevation of Craddock.

Craddock will now form part of the management set-up alongside Evatt, assistant manager Peter Atherton and goalkeeping coach Matt Gilks while Wanderers look to recruit a permanent first-team coach.

“This is going to be a process and it will take time,” confirmed Evatt. “It’s a really important hire. Whoever it is needs to fit culturally, and they need to provide me with the detail and the information we need to be better.

Matt Craddock warm-up

“We are always striving for improvements and it isn’t straightforward. It’s not as easy as picking up the phone to someone I know and them coming in because that’s not necessarily the right thing to do.

“What we want to do is get the best person for Bolton Wanderers, the best person for me and the coaching team and the best person for the players and that is going to be a process.”

Hird, who joined Wanderers from Barrow in July, 2021 to become a key member of Evatt’s backroom staff following the Whites' promotion from League Two, was in the dug-out for the final time last Saturday.

“As I’ve said before, we can’t speak highly enough of Sam and what he’s given us. He’s been a very good help to me and the players. For now, Matt will step into that role until we find what we think is the right replacement. Matt is included in that as well and and we’ll see how we get on,” Evatt added.

The change of personnel will also see Head of Academy Dave Gardiner deputise for Craddock – Head Coach of the B Team since its introduction in the summer of 2022 – to work alongside player-coach Andrew Tutte with the Whites’ young professionals.

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