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A Season in Statistics Player-By-Player: Niall Maher

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Another released youngster is up next

Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Jimmy Phillips' managerial legacy at Bolton Wanderers will be for throwing a batch of fearless youngsters into the first-team. The first of these was young full-back Niall Maher, who had captained the club's Development Squad earlier in the season.

Appearances - 5

I worry Maher's decent performances may have been overshadowed by his silly sending off against Cardiff City. He made his debut against Reading in which we got absolutely battered throughout having been reduced to ten men early in the first half, and was widely regarded as one of our better players in that game.

His second game was in the defeat at Brentford, in which he again applied himself pretty well in a struggling side. Why the powers that be decided to release him, when we have one recognised right-back and he wouldn't have demanded huge wages, is beyond me.

Goals Conceded - 6 (1.2 per game)

Not a bad record, in terms of Bolton defenders. We kept one clean sheet with him in the side, at home to Charlton, then of course he got sent off before we conceded against Cardiff.

Review

Bolton only collected one point from Maher's five appearances, as the side struggled in the games after Neil Lennon's departure.

Pass completion rate - 69.8%, the fourth best passing record of all Bolton defenders this season

Bookings - 0

Red cards - 1

Overall Season Performance - B-

I thought Maher looked a nailed on option for us in League One next season. He came into a struggling side that was already relegated and hugely devoid of confidence, and instantly looked like one of our better players.

Maher had plenty of potential to be a decent player at full-back on either side of the defence, and the decision to release him seems a very strange one. Expect him to pop up at a League One rival and come back to haunt us next season.