Owen Coyle had said that the transfers would come and here's one. Bolton Wanderers first official signing of the 2011 summer transfer season, as reported earlier, is Darren Pratley. The former Swansea midfielder has moved to the Reebok on a free after declining an extension with the newly promoted Swans. In five years, Pratley was capped 199 times and scored 31 goals in those appearances.
The 26 year old midfielder's deal lasts for four years and Owen Coyle is delighted to have landed Pratley as there were a number of other clubs chasing his signature. There is a bit of history with Prat and some current Trotters earlier in their football careers. While being brought up in the Fulham youth system, Pratley was in the same team as Zat Knight and Sean Davis (who we're not even sure exists anymore). While on loan at Brentford, he also had the chance to play with Sam Ricketts.
Owen Coyle said of the signing:
"He's an exciting player, who has the right character to blend into our squad. He is a good addition as we look to progress our club further in the upcoming season."
Pratley looks a good piece of business just from having watched him in the Championship. He's a bit of an unknown quantity in the Premiership but he is certainly creative and does have an eye for goal. Plus, it's not like Bolton lost any money on a transfer fee.
In an interview with the official Bolton website, Pratley said:
"The fans can expect someone who always gives 100 per cent. I like to get around the pitch and am a bit of a box-to-box player and hopefully I can chip in with a few goals. I managed to get 12 in my last season with Swansea. Hopefully I can continue to score goals from midfield at Bolton."