It's August 1st, the day to turn the calendars, and we are now officially in start of the season month. It also just so happens to be game day for Bolton Wanderers, as they travel to the nearby Globe Arena, home of Morecambe FC. This will be the Wanderers' fifth preseason friendly, and so far the men in white are still without a win, charting 3 draws and 1 loss from the senior matches.
The amusingly nicknamed Shrimps finished 15th in League Two last season, which is only their fifth year in the football league in their entire history. They've also played four games thus far in preseason, including two wins against Barrow and Preston North End. Bolton will be the highest competition that Morecambe have faced so far in their campaign, and should hopefully give the Shrimps some trouble.
Not that the Trotters have been showing all of their quality in preseason . The team has already been struck with a number of injuries, although a lot of these are reportedly only precautionary measures taken to ensure the players are fit for the season. Chris Eagles, Tim Ream, Zat Knight, and David Ngog are just some of the personnel missing, but they could come back at any time.
Ahead of the match, club captain Kevin Davies had this to say ahead of the match:
"As young players they have got such an opportunity. Let's hope they take it. There are five or six that are in and amongst it now and the Gaffer has given them that opportunity. They have earned it and are in with a chance. The side has not yet been picked for the start of the season. We've got good young players coming through and they are going to get an opportunity to play at the top level. They need to make sure that they are doing all the right things and take the opportunities because when they come on and get that chance they need to impress the manager."
He has an excellent point. Preseason so far has been marked by a predictable fluidity to the lineup, as it should at this stage, but as the season closes in Owen Coyle will begin making real decisions about who exactly is in the best XI and who needs to wait another season to make it in the senior side. It's been a hectic summer for the Wanderers; relegation led, of course, to mass exodus and in turn a number of new faces, but the team as it will looks for the next year should be emerging. I hope Coyle will make a statement at Morecambe