Bolton Wanderers Steal Key Figure From League One Rivals

Bolton Wanderers have today announced that Stephen Crainey will join the club as their as assistant manager alongside Peter Atherton, according to club media.

The Scotsman has made a controversial move after leaving his former employment under Shaun Maloney at Wigan Athletic. However, Crainey holds ties with the Trotters’ boss being former teammates at Blackpool and has also spent time with current goalkeeping coach Matt Gilks. Current assistant manager Peter Atherton, who joined the club with Ian Evatt in 2020, will retain his role.

Crainey’s most notorious piece of management was the temporary leadership of Fleetwood Town during the 2021/22 season. During his second game as interim manager, the former defender faced Evatt in the EFL Trophy fixture which resulted in a 1-0 victory for his opposition. After taking the reigns initially on a caretaker basis, the now-43-year-old would continue in the role until the end of the season. The Cod Army survived that campaign on goal difference with Crainey then returning to his role as under-23 manager prior to taking the under-21 job at Wigan.

Appointing the former Scottish international is the first step of Sharon Britton’s development plan to finally achieve promotion for the club. Bolton would achieve a third place finish last season prior to losing to Oxford United in the play-off final. Wembley could have been avoided altogether if not for a slight blip towards the end of the season which saw them lose precious ground to both Portsmouth and Derby County.

Speaking to club media, Wanderers boss Ian Evatt gave his reasoning for bringing in Crainey.

“We’ve had discussions about having a more holistic approach to the staff and the skill set I feel we are missing Stephen, who I have known for a long, long time, can provide.

“He’s an extremely good character, a strong character who knows what it takes to win and will be extremely additive to the rest of the staff, so I think it’s a very important appointment for us.”

Writer’s View

Stephen Crainey is a proven coach in this league and a great asset for Ian Evatt to utilise. Bolton are focused on the development of their younger players as well as the aspect of Championship football and Crainey’s experience could help towards that.

Experience is the biggest strength in this division especially in terms of management, Evatt has been criticised for his stubbornness and a change of pace and ideology could be good for the Trotters.


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