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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers Development Section » Bolton coach David Lee wants more young players to get loan deals

Bolton coach David Lee wants more young players to get loan deals

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
David Lee has been without the services of a few key players this season… And wouldn’t mind losing a few more!

Wanderers' Under-23s moved into the play-off places with a 2-1 victory against Nottingham Forest on Monday night, courtesy of goals from youth team alumni Shak Jones-Griffiths and Luca Navarro.

That they are riding high once again is made all the more impressive by the fact Connor Hall, Dennis Politic and Marcus Wood have been farmed out on loan to continue their development at Accrington, Salford City and Southport, respectively.

Losing talented players is not usually something a manager relishes but for Lee, it is a feather in his cap.

“It’s a great environment at the moment,” he told The Bolton News. “The scouting list for every game is packed with clubs who want to come and have a look at our players – and already we have seen a few go out and make that crucial next step.

“It’s a reward for the players for working on their game and getting to the level where they can earn a loan move but also for the club, as it shows we are creating the right type of players.

“The lads have got some encouragement now to push to that level knowing their mates have got moves and sampled senior football. They also speak between themselves and hear first-hand what a big step up it is physically in your career.

“It’s a very healthy situation to be in, so if more clubs come in and look to give our players the right experience, I’m all for it.”

Politic joined Conference high-flyers Salford last week on loan until December, a move which Lee believes will be hugely beneficial for the 18-year-old winger’s progression.

“I know Graham Alexander and Chris Casper well and the infrastructure at Salford, being a full-time club, will really help him,” he said. “They did their homework and knew exactly what type of player they were signing and he’s already had a taste of first team football, which is great.

“If by Christmas he is doing well, enjoying it, then we might look at extending that for the rest of the season.”

Hall has made one start and six substitute appearances in an Accrington side which has been going great guns in League One.

And though the striker’s lack of football is a slight concern to Lee, he understands why the 20-year-old may have to be patient.

“Anyone who scores 23 goals in a season at Under-23 level should be pushing for first team football,” he said. “Connor isn’t quite getting the game time we’d want and ideally he’d be starting more games for Accrington but from their perspective if you’ve got a team doing well you don’t want to disrupt it.

“Both of their strikers have been scoring goals but Christmas is coming up and the games come thick and fast, so I’m sure there will be opportunities for him and that Connor will be ready.

“Just being around that first team environment will be good for him in the long run because I think he was ready to take the next step from Under-23s football.”

Monday’s victory at Nottingham Forest lifted Wanderers into second place in the Professional Development League North.

Joe Muscatt missed the game through illness but the absence of midfielders Wood and Politic gave Lee the chance to test some of the players he has inherited from Nicky Spooner’s Under-18s.

“It’s the next step for the younger players, so being able to bring Luca (Navarro) and Shak (Jones-Griffiths) in and give them some experience is really beneficial,” he said.

“Will Hartshorne played his first game of the season and Luca Connell hadn’t played for a couple of weeks, so the team had a very different look about it but they played well and deserved the result.”


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