The opening game of our Papa John’s Trophy campaign starts with a trip to Bolton in our first group game.
In the Dugout
Ian Evatt began his managerial career just three years ago when he took caretaker charge of Chesterfield in April 2018. The Spirerites were relegated to non-league that season with the damage being done before Evatt took over.
In the summer of that year, he became Barrow manager and in his second season in charge he guided them back into the EFL. After promotion he left to join Bolton and once again won promotion, this time at the first attempt and they now play their football in the third tier.
Evatt thoughts on the game "It'll be a competitive game. Port Vale are a difficult team to play against. They're physical, strong and direct at times. They put you under pressure, so we need to stand up to it and be better than we were on Saturday."
Man with the Armband
Antoni Sarcevic has been Bolton’s captain since he signed in the summer of 2020 from Plymouth Argyle. He started his youth career with boyhood club Manchester City in 2000 before moving to Woodley Sports eight years later.
In 2010 he signed for Crewe Alexandra after they paid a fee for him and made his professional debut where he scored in a 6-2 defeat against Northampton Town. He went onto play for Chester, Fleetwood, Shrewsbury and Plymouth before joining Bolton.
The captain has appeared in every game this season and scored the winner away to Lincoln City in the league. In both Carabao Cup games Bolton went to penalties, Sarcevic was successful from the spot in both shootouts but unfortunately for his team Kieran Lee and Nathan Delfouneso both missed as Bolton were knocked out in the second round.
Signing from Newport County in the summer, Josh Sheehan has quickly become a fans favourite in the Wanderers midfield. He started out at Swansea City at youth level but never made an appearance for them and was sent out on loan three times.
One of those clubs was Newport County who he later signed for permanently in 2018 and almost won promotion with them last season but lost in the playoff final to Morecambe. His Newport contract was up so joined Bolton in Sky Bet League One in the summer.
He has scored twice for his new club, including a debut goal from a 20-yard free-kick against MK Dons. That makes him the clubs top scorer tied with Eoin Doyle and Oladapo Afolyan who all have two goals. Sheehan has two caps for Wales and fortunately for the Valiants he will be unable to play in the upcoming fixture as he is in Rob Page’s squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Last time out and recent form
In their last four league games Bolton have picked seven points with wins against Lincoln and Oxford including a six-goal thriller against AFC Wimbledon which ended in a 3-3 draw. Bolton have suffered two defeats on the spin with a cup exit against Wigan and a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Cambridge United.
Shilow Tracey’s 16th minute goal was all that separated the sides despite Cambridge only having 26% possession.
The University of Bolton Stadium has a capacity of 28,723 and was opened in 1997 by John Prescott who was the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Oasis, Coldplay and Elton John have all performed at the stadium. Looking into the future it will host group games and a quarter-final at the next Rugby League World Cup.
If travelling up the M6, follow signs for the M62 and leave at Junction 21a, following signs for Manchester. Join the M60 at Junction 12 and proceed to follow signs for the M61 towards Preston. Do NOT take the A666 towards Bolton. Turn off the M61 at Junction 6 and take the third exit off the roundabout onto the A6027, the De Havilland Way. At the next roundabout, take a left turn onto Burnden Way and park in the main stadium visitors' car park.
There are a number of car park facilities available at the University of Bolton Stadium and these are operated on a first come first serve basis. Prices for all the car parks are as follows:
Mini coaches: £12
Car Park A
This is the car park available for away supporters to use on a matchday and is located at the South end of the stadium and is accessed via the A6027, De Havilland Way. This car park is clearly sign posted from the motorway junction. Parking is available for cars, mini coaches and coaches. Entry can be purchased on a matchday.
The University of Bolton Stadium is located approximately 400 metres from Horwich Parkway Station. Trains regularly run from Manchester and Bolton if travelling from the South. For more details, please visit www.rail.co.uk