Matheson Grateful For Wanderers' Chance

Luke Matheson pass Salford

Comeback kid Luke Matheson cherished his return to first-team football as he looks to re-launch his career with Wanderers, writes Pete Oliver.

Two months after joining the Whites’ B Team on trial, Matheson came off the bench as Wanderers beat Salford City 3-0 in their opening group game in the EFL Trophy.

The 20-year-old made a couple of appearances in the same competition for Wolves’ U21s a year ago but has to go back further for his last involvement in first-team football after injuries blighted his time at Molineux.

“It means the world, playing men’s football again,” said Matheson, who signed an initial 12-month deal at the Toughsheet Community Stadium at the start of August.

“It’s the first time I’ve played men’s football in 18-19 months, since my loan at Scunthorpe. It’s been a long time and I’m so, so grateful to put on a Bolton Wanderers’ shirt and make my first-team debut here.

“The trial worked out and I couldn’t be happier that I get to put on the Bolton badge every day and be here.”
Luke Matheson

“It was never a case of ‘I’m too good to be on trial’. I took it as an opportunity to click that re-set button. I can’t say why it went the way it did at previous places but I’m thoroughly happy here.

“The trial worked out and I couldn’t be happier that I get to put on the Bolton badge every day and be here.”

Manchester-born Matheson first burst onto the scene at Rochdale, making his debut in the EFL Trophy at the age of 15 and then scoring at Manchester United in a League Cup tie just a year later.

In January, 2020 he joined Premier League side Wolves but played all his competitive football out on loan at Ipswich Town, Hamilton Academicals and Scunthorpe before a run of injuries and operations ended the defender’s time in the West Midlands at the end of last season.

Luke Matheson substitute Salford

“This is the most I’ve played in 18 months so, touch wood, I can stay fit, which I haven’t been able to do last year and the year before with season-ending injuries,” added Matheson, who has featured regularly for the Whites’ B Team this summer before getting his chance from boss Ian Evatt as the Wanderers’ right-sided wing-back in the closing stages of Tuesday night’s Group E win over Salford.

“Hopefully I can get a run of games, whether that be with the B Team or the first team. Regardless, I just want to play football and get back to enjoying it again.

“I’m very grateful to the gaffer for even putting me on the bench and trusting me on the bench, let alone actually putting me on the pitch for 15 minutes.

“I’m thankful for him for giving me that opportunity and fingers crossed that I keep performing, striving and working the way I have been to get more opportunities, wherever that may be.

“I’m very excited to be here. It’s only the start of September and we’ve got a whole season ahead. Where that may be and what that leads to, I’m very much looking forward to what the future holds.”

To watch Luke's full post-match interview on Wanderers TV, click HERE

Read Time: 3 mins