Following a frustrating campaign that saw the young right back limited to two appearances in all competitions due to injury, and the signing of two right backs this Summer in Baptiste and White, it looked as though this pre-season would be last chance saloon for Riley to prove his worth to Dougie Freedman. But his injury curse continued as he limped out of the Development Squad's first pre-season friendly against Skelmersdale United after 71 minutes.
Riley tweeted after the game, suggesting his disappointment at yet another setback.
0 luck me wow— Joe Riley (@_joeriley) July 17, 2013
Joe Riley had a promising start to his Bolton Wanderers career. After being with the club since the age of 9, he made his first team debut aged 19 against Macclesfield in the League Cup. Injuries to first team players and excellent form in the reserves. paved the way for his Premier League debut two months later in Bolton's resounding 5-0 victory over Stoke. As well as banishing some of the Whites' post-Wembley demons, Riley's performance stood out and he was rewarded with a start in the next game against West Brom. Since then it's all been a bit downhill for the young right back.
He was given the runaround by Jerome Thomas and an injury in training meant he lost his early momentum and couldn't break into the team again that season with Bolton eventually getting relegated, coincidentally at Stoke.
Many fans predicted that 2012-13 would be his season in the Championship but more injury problems ensued including a very frustrating one in the opening exchanges of Bolton's FA Cup game against Sunderland and this limited him to a total of two appearances through the duration of the season with none in the league.
The signing of another young right back, Hayden White and the fact that Riley has been shifted to centre back in both of his pre-season appearances would seem to signal that unfortunately Riley's future does not lie with the Wanderers.