A Bolton fan’s view of Andy Kellett

Photo courtesy of Manchester United magazine

Wigan Athletic yesterday announced the signing of 21 year old full back/wing back Andy Kellett from Bolton Wanderers.

Kellett was born in Bolton and came through the Wanderers academy to make his first team debut as a substitute against Leicester City in April 2014. He again came off the bench in the next match against Sheffield Wednesday. In October Kellett joined League 2 club Plymouth Argyle on a one month loan, which was extended a further month.He was to make 12 appearances, scoring one goal .

Although Kellett was more likely expecting a return to Plymouth in the second half of the season he was to join Manchester United on loan in early February 2015. A Daily Telegraph  article tells how Bolton’s first team coach Garry Parker broke the news to Kellett of United’s interest in him.

“Sit down Andy, We’ve got some good news and some bad news. “You’re not going back to Plymouth,” was the bad news. After that body blow, Kellett asked to hear the good.“You’re going to Manchester United,” Parker said.

Kellett went on to make 10 appearances for United’s development squad before returning to Bolton.

In order to learn more about Kellett we reached out to Chris Mann of the Burnden Aces fan site http://www.burndenaces.co.uk (Twitter @BurndenAces ).

Here’s over to Chris:

The lasting memory of transfer deadline day from times gone by usually hindered around Harry Redknapp talking to reporters from his car, or crowds gathering at stadiums and training grounds with indescribable adult-themed objects.

A new trend seems to have been set, however, and that is ‘Transfer Deadline Day = Andy Kellett is on the move’.

Having spent the early part of last season on loan at Plymouth Argyle, Kellett had looked set to return to Home Park only to become one of the country’s biggest talking points when he sealed an 11th-hour switch to Manchester United back in February.

United were short of options at full-back, but the move baffled supporters of both clubs. As predicted, though, Kellett’s time at Old Trafford was consigned to the development squad that would eventually go on to win the Under-21 Premier League title.

Kellett signed on at Wanderers as a seven-year old and, having impressed at youth level, made his senior debut in April 2014 – making a total of three appearances before the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

Hopes were high for the hometown boy, but a change in management seemed to put the brakes on his progression and it quickly became obvious that he just wasn’t rated by Neil Lennon.

His big chance arrived in a game at Rotherham United in January, prior to his United move, but a shambolic performance from the entire team saw Kellett sacrificed after 51 minutes – at 3-0 down – and he hasn’t been anywhere near the first-team since.

Kellett was a popular figure amongst the Bolton fans, many of whom believe he should have been given more of an opportunity. But Lennon has granted chances to the likes of Zach Clough, Josh Vela and Tom Walker, while a group of other names are also on the verge of breaking through, so the manager has shown he will put his faith in youth if he deems them good enough.

It’s a shame to see him leave, but Kellett had entered the final year of his contract and wasn’t being considered for what has been a position lacking in cover. Lennon hasn’t made many mistakes in terms of player recruitment so far, so we’ll trust his judgement and wish Kellett the best of luck down the road.

 

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A Cardiff fan’s view of Kevin McNaughton

Soccer - Pre Season Friendly - Cardiff CIty v Celtic - Cardiff City Stadium

It has been announced that  32 year old Kevin McNaughton has signed for Wigan Athletic on a one year contract, following a trial period at the club.

Given the youthful nature of his squad Gary Caldwell will be looking for some more experience and McNaughton can certainly provide it, having played more than 450 games in his career. McNaughton made his debut for Latics in the pre-season match at Southport and subsequently played against Dundee and Blackburn Rovers.

The 5 ft 10 in McNaughton was born in Dundee, but came up through the Aberdeen youth system. He made his debut for the Dons as an 18 year old and was to make 175 appearances over 5 seasons.

McNaughton signed for Cardiff City in summer 2006 and manager Dave Jones used him regularly as a left back in the 2006-07 season. The following season saw him switched to right back and he played in all six matches in Cardiff’s run to the 2008 FA Cup final. His following season was dogged by injury but he reclaimed his place in the 2010-11 season when he was voted Player of the Year.

In September 2013 McNaughton went on loan to Bolton Wanderers, making 13 appearances during a three month stay. He went back to Cardiff in January and played in a handful of Premier League games by the end of the season.  Last season saw McNaughton return to Bolton on loan, where he made 8 appearances. He had made 254 appearances for Cardiff before being released this summer.

In order to learn more about McNaughton’s time at Cardiff we reached out to Benjamin James of the View from the Ninian fan site.

Here’s over to Ben:

What to say about Kevin McNaughton?

A player who most, if not all Cardiff fans, would have gladly kept. A player who came in unheralded and went on to become one of the most revered players of recent times. The very definition of a club legend.

The image of him on the pitch after our promotion to the Premier League is iconic – he, out of all those players in the squad, deserved it more than most. Near misses and play-off disappointments were felt most by him.

It looked as if for all the years he had given us, he was going to miss out on some Premier League action; a loan to Bolton looked to signal the end of his career at Cardiff City. But he returned and I was so happy that he got to play in the Prem for us.

Wigan have signed a player who will build an incredible rapport with the fans. You’ve signed a player who will leave it all on the pitch. You’ve signed a player who will be invaluable to the dressing room – if you want someone to dress up as Dangermouse, he will be the first to do it.

I’ve seen him knock himself out in consecutive games, take out lino’s in his quest to get to the ball and outpace the quickest of players.

I can’t think of a bad word to say about him and I know I’m not alone in this. In an ideal world, Kev would have seen out his career with us. He became a true fan favourite in his nine years with the club and he will be missed.

He’s played all across the back four and even in midfield at points. He’s seen the best of times and some of the worst yet he’s stayed as consistent as ever. I really hope he succeeds at Wigan and Wigan succeed with him – he deserves nothing less.  

A Bolton fan’s view of Craig Davies

Davies

It was announced today that Wigan Athletic have completed the signing of free agent, Craig Davies, previously of Bolton Wanderers.

The 6 ft 2 in centre forward is 29 years old. He has played for Wales at all age levels, including five caps for the senior squad. Davies started as a youth player at Manchester City before joining Oxford United as an 18 year old. From 2004-06 he was to make 48 appearances, scoring 8 goals, while the club was in League 2.

In January 2006 he signed for Hellas Verona of Serie B for a fee of £85,000. Sadly he could not adapt to the culture change and only made one appearance, returning to England on loan with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship. He was a regular starter for Wolves until they signed Andy Keogh in January 2007. Davies was to leave Wolves at the end of the season, having made 23 appearances, his only goals being one in a 2-2 FA Cup home draw with Oldham, followed by another in the 2-0 replay victory.

Curiously Davies was to join Oldham in the summer of 2007 to play in League 1. After regularly challenging for a first team place in his first season, he went through a 10 game goalless streak at the beginning of 2008-09, leading Oldham to send him out on loan to Stockport County, also in League 1 at the time. He scored 5 goals in 8 appearances before returning to Oldham. He had made 44 appearances for Oldham, scoring 10 goals before being sold to Brighton in January 2009.

Davies could not establish himself with the Seagulls and went on loan periods at Yeovil and Port Vale before joining Chesterfield in the summer of 2011. Davies’ 23 goals in 41 appearances were to help the Spireites win the League 2 title.

Davies was snapped up by Barnsley in the summer of 2012 and went on to make 60 appearances for the Tykes over the next two years, scoring 19 goals. His second season had been hampered by a  hamstring injury. Bolton Wanderers paid £300,000 for his services in January 2013 and Davies went on to make 35 starts for them with 19 appearances off they bench, scoring 10 goals.  He was loaned to Preston in January 2014, where he scored 5 goals from 13 starts and 3 substitute appearances.Last season he struggled once again with his hamstring injury and was not offered a new contract.

In order to learn more about Davies’ time at Bolton we reached out to Chris Mann  of the Burnden Aces fan site http://www.burndenaces.co.uk (Twitter @BurndenAces )

So here’s over to Chris:

Wigan Athletic today completed the free signing of Craig Davies, seven days after his contract at Bolton came to an end.

Davies joined Wanderers in a £300,000 transfer from Barnsley in January 2013 and went on to score a total of 11 goals in 58 appearances for the Trotters, prior to his release.

Whilst those statistics may not look too appetising, it’s worth noting that 31 of those outings were from the substitutes’ bench.

Davies was a hugely popular figure amongst Bolton supporters, with his never-say-die attitude and willingness to put his body on the line earning him many plaudits, although it wasn’t until Neil Lennon’s arrival as manager in October 2014 that we began to see the best of what he had to offer.

All of a sudden, Davies became a focal point of the Bolton attack and was producing arguably the best form of his career – including a Man of the Match display in a 3-1 win over Latics at Macron Stadium.

Then, in a cruel twist of fate, he was struck down by three separate hamstring injuries that restricted him to just three starts after the turn of the year.

The club weighed up whether to offer him a fresh deal, but financial restraints at the present time meant it made little business sense to take a risk on an injury-prone player and Davies was an unfortunate victim of the cost-cutting measures currently in place.

 If he can put his fitness issues behind him, Davies has the ability to be one of the Championship’s top players. However, inconsistent form and the amount of time he spends in the treatment room has stopped him from fulfilling his undoubted potential.

If you can get 20+ games out of him next season, Wigan will have got themselves a good player who is more than capable of scoring the goals to get you out of the division at the first attempt.

With all those aforementioned worries, though, it would be unwise to pin all hopes on him, so I’d be expecting Gary Caldwell to bring in at least one more striker during the summer transfer window.

A Coventry fan’s view of Sanmi Odelusi

Odelusi

According the Sun newspaper Latics are about to sign 22 year old  Sanmi Odelusi  from Bolton Wanderers for £50,000 on a three year contract. Odelusi is a 5 ft 11 12 in tall winger.

Oluwasanmi Babafemi Oluwaseu Odelusi was born in Nigeria but brought up in Dagenham. After being part of the youth setups at Reading and QPR he joined Bolton in 2009. Odelusi was to make nine appearances for Bolton, scoring two goals. In February 2014 he joined MK Dons on loan, where he started in six matches and made four appearances off the bench in a three month stay. For the second half of last season he played on loan at Coventry, making four starts and ten appearances as a substitute, scoring three goals.

If the newspaper reports are correct then Latics will be taking a gamble in signing a player on a long term contract who has had such little first team experience. But Odelusi clearly has talent. The question is whether he can establish himself and add consisitency to his game.

In order to learn more about Odelusi’s time at Coventry we got in touch with the Covsupport News Service at at http://www.coventrycity-mad.co.uk/

Here’s over to them:

Sanmi Odelusi, was very much in and out during his loan at Coventry City.   He could not have asked for a better debut after joining the Sky Blues on loan in January from Bolton, showing some class to finish smartly in the 38th minute of a 2-2 draw with Rochdale.    

But from then on, he was soon out injured with a hamstring injury and struggled to command a regular place in the side.  

Odelusi showed that he has good ball control and a neat touch along with a good finish especially in the win at Chesterfield and the defeat to Port Vale but could not convince Tony Mowbray, who took over from Steven Pressley as Coventry City manager that he was worth anything more than a place on the bench.  

A decent lad, if he can keep his fitness then he could thrive at Wigan.

Click here to read another Coventry fan view on Odelusi, written for a Bolton fan site last month.