Crainey | I'm Really Excited For The Challenge

Stephen Crainey arrival

Stephen Crainey can’t wait to get started in his new role after being named as Wanderers’ Joint Assistant Manager, writes Pete Oliver.

Crainey has joined the Whites’ backroom staff in time for the start of pre-season with the Wanderers’ squad due to report back for duty on Thursday before flying out for a week-long training camp in Portugal.

The former Wigan Athletic first-team coach and Fleetwood Town manager has been handed a key role alongside co-assistant manager Peter Atherton, first-team coach Matt Craddock and goalkeeping coach Matt Gilks in support of manager Ian Evatt.

And Crainey is excited by the prospect of working alongside them and a squad of players that just missed out on promotion from League One last season.

“I'm looking forward to it. I've had a few previous roles looking after U21s teams and I've had a couple of bits of experience as well in first-team roles and responsibilities, so when the gaffer gave me the call to come in and be part of his coaching staff I was delighted to come,” said the 43-year-old Scot.

“As soon as he made that contact I wanted to be here and try and help an already unbelievably knowledgeable staff and hopefully I can add to that.

“Bolton is a massive club and it was a no-brainer to come. I'm really excited for the challenge and the good thing is I'm going to be in for pre-season and the trip to Portugal as well.


Stephen Crainey Ian Evatt touchline

“I'm dying to get on the grass. That's where I feel I come into my own with them and getting to know the players as well. I'm looking forward to that side of things and I'm excited for the challenge ahead.

“The players have had a good rest now so will be coming in fresh and hopefully we can hit the ground running right from the start.”

Crainey is no stranger to the division after leading Fleetwood to League One safety in 2021/22 during six months as interim manager and then being promoted from a lead Academy coaching role to a position at Wigan’s first-team coach.

The former Scotland international full-back has previously worked with the Wanderers’ duo of Gethin Jones and Kyle Dempsey at Fleetwood and further back in his career was a long-serving team-mate of Evatt and Gilks at Blackpool.

And his appointment is a key one for Wanderers as they supplement their coaching staff as part of a summer strengthening ready for the new campaign which begins in mid-August.

“Hopefully we can all come together and have a really good season,” Crainey told Wanderers TV.

“I had a really good relationship with the manager and we had some unbelievable times at Blackpool as players. That's all in the past and now we’re on the other side in a coaching capacity and we're excited for the new season ahead.

“We want to be in every game we’re in this season, win as many games as we can and see where it takes us at the end of the season and hopefully it can be a good one.

“I've been involved in League One for the past six or seven years in some capacity so hopefully that knowledge can help on top of the unbelievable knowledge of the staff we've already got. Hopefully I can add to that and enhance it and we can all help each other. The be-all and end-all is winning games of football and that's what we're here to do.

“It's a really talented group (of players). I saw that first-hand last season so hopefully we can add to that as well. I'm sure the manager will look to do that. Players that are in the building now are top, top players for League One and hopefully they can showcase what they've done last season and more.”

Watch the full interview with new Joint Assistant Manager Stephen Crainey on Wanderers TV HERE

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