The season is a mere 18 days away and tonight, Bolton will continue preparations with a 23 mile trip to play Oldham Athletic. Oldham, founded in 1895, play at the 13,000 capacity SportsDirect.com Park, formerly known as Boundary Park.
The Latics were a founding member of the Premier League, although they only lasted two seasons before relegation in 1994. Another relegation followed in 1997, and Oldham have remained in League 1 since then. Last season, they finished a lowly 15th.
Bolton have played Oldham 53 times, winning 26 of those. The last time the Whites faced the Latics was a decade ago, when a solitary goal from Ricardo Vaz Te was enough for Bolton to progress to the 5th Round of the FA Cup. One player in the Oldham squad that day and someone who will likely play tonight is Wigan born Lee Croft. The 30 year old has just rejoined Oldham for his fourth spell with the club.
There are a few links to Bolton with the Oldham Athletic coaching staff. Assistant manager Dean Holden began his career with Bolton in 1998 and made 13 league appearances, before a move to Oldham in 2002. Academy manager Tony Philliskirk is another former Trotters player. Philliskirk scored 75 times in 182 games from 1989-1992. Coincidentally, Philliskirk's son Danny is a current player with Oldham.
In regards to team news for Bolton, Stephen Dobbie and Lawrie Wilson will continue to earn deals with the club. Despite Friday's defeat to Morecambe, Dobbie looked sharp, scoring a well taken goal, whilst Wilson will be looking to build on the 30 mins he played. Zach Clough, Oscar Threlkeld and Mark Davies will be assessed prior to kick off, and i'm sure we're all excited for Liam Trotter's first appearance of the season.
Kick off's at 7:45, tickets will be available for £10 on the door.