Bolton Wanderers have built some what of a rapport with local club Bury this season, setting up a relationship which will see Bolton youngsters make the short trip over to the newly promoted League One side, in a bid to get some first team experience. Both defender Rob Holding and the almost forgotten striker, Tom Eaves, have spent time on loan at the Shakers over the season, so I asked Bury fan Adam France to offer us some insight on how they got on:
I'm afraid I can't really comment on his performances as I've not seen him play. I think I'm right in saying he's only been on the bench for the few games he's been selected in the squad, then he's been chucked on in the last 5/10 minutes of the game. I frequent the Bury message boards (much to my dismay, as it's full of idiots) and there's not been much talk about him. I presume we won't keep him on for next season really.
I've seen him start a couple of games and make a couple of appearances off the bench. Big strong lad, built like a brick shithouse so perfect for the lower leagues by giving the defenders a terrible time. He was especially great at this when he was brought on toward the end of our game against Shrewsbury. He ran his socks off and was a nuisance to them.
When he first came here, he obviously got a fair bit of stick being a Bolton player. You could tell he was getting frustrated by this and it affected his game - struggling to hold the ball up, laying the ball off etc...simple stuff. He improved, but then he disappeared in the final couple of games of the season. No real word as to why - injured or just dropped? Strange one really. No idea whether we'll get him back next season or not, I think there might be quite a few players brought in and a bit of money spent to cope with life in League 1. I liked that he had the strength and power which is something we've really lacked up top for a while. We've two older strikers who might struggle next season, and 2 younger ones who need more experience and they've never really paired that effectively - where I thought Eaves would fit this holding up role perfectly.
He may not be our player anymore, but I also asked Adam to give us a brief word on how Joe Riley's doing down in Bury.
Again, he got a fair bit of stick when he first joined. I liked him as a player from the off although a lot of other fans didn't. He's definitely grown in confidence throughout the season and you can tell his heart's in it. He seems passionate towards the club which is always great to see. Massively improved too - he's had quite a few careless tackles earlier on in his time here, one in particular was a shocker and he got himself sent off for that. He's kept other squad players out of the team time and time again so Flitcroft obviously believes in him too. Not sure if you've seen it, but he scored the goal to beat Shrewsbury. Bit of a screamer. (skip to the 45 second mark)
You can follow Adam on Twitter @Childofweasel.