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End of Season Review: August

Football is/was back!

Swindon Town v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

So as we continue our review of Bolton Wanderers' fine 2016/17 season, it's time to head into August, the month where the exciting stuff began to happen.

The month began with some really sad news. Filip Twardzik left Bolton Wanderers for good. The former Celtic man never really established himself whilst at the club and Christ knows where he is now.

In more exciting news, squad numbers were confirmed on the 2nd and this left myself and other 15 year olds giddy with excitement. Of the new arrivals, Mark Howard was given #33, with Mark Beevers, Chris Taylor and Jamie Proctor being awarded #5, #7 and #9 respectively. Only two of those new signings would be on the pitch during the end-of-season lap of honour, but more on that later.

That same day we revealed our new blue away kit, which was worn about three times before it was decided to be 'unlucky' and retired to the annals of time.

More notable news on the 2nd was that David Wheater officially rejoined the club having left at the end of the previous campaign when his contract expired. Some people (ahem, me) wondered why he hadn't found another club - or why another club hadn't come calling - but over the course of the season his worth was proven time after time. His relationship with Beevers became the bedrock upon which our promotion push was founded. They can't sing for shit, though.

On the 5th, Lewis Buxton signed for the club. Buxton, a 32 year old right-back who would impress early on in the season but who would suffer from injuries limiting him to just nine appearances.

A day later, the Whites secured a 1-0 win at home to Sheffield United in the first league game of the season. Jay Spearing scored a fantastic volley in front of the away support who, despite officially numbering in their low thousands, brought over 1 million fans, the majority of whom were turned away at the door. In unhappier news, captain Darren Pratley broke his leg during the game and would only come back into the team in the Spring.

On August 9th, Bolton lost 2-4 away to Blackpool in the EFL Trophy, a game in which our attacking limitations were laid bare.

The very next day, a handsome left-back joined on loan from Wigan Athletic - one Andrew Taylor, who would become a mainstay of the team going forward.

August 13th saw our first away game of the season and given our poor form on the road it would have come as no surprise to fans had we slipped to a defeat. This Bolton, however, the lads ended a 495 day search for an away win as we defeated AFC Wimbledon 2-1 with goals from Gary Madine and Liam Trotter.

With the transfer deadline a fortnight away, Wanderers turned down bids for Josh Vela from two unnamed clubs - one believed to be Wigan - as they attempted to hold on to their prized midfield asset. What a great call by the board.

On August 17th, we secured our second consecutive away win, beating Bristol Rovers 2-1 at the Memorial Ground with a free kick from Spearing and a first goal of the season from Vela.

Our second home game of the season came three days later against Fleetwood Town. Another 2-1 win meant Wanderers topped the table with a 100% record, Madine and that man Vela with the goals.

August 25th was a date marked with joy and despair, as out of favour ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Amos headed off to Cardiff City on loan, whilst Max Clayton suffered another injury and looked to be heading off himself, only to the operating table. It would be months before he was fit enough to come back.

Our 100% record came to an end on the 27th when Charlton Athletic struck a last minute equaliser to seal a 1-1 draw at the Valley. The game was marred by another serious knee injury suffered by Mark Davies, which kept him out of the team until the end of the season.

The month came to an end with a 0-2 home loss to Everton U23s in the bullshit Checkatrade Trophy, a game which saw just 1,540 fans turn up.

August 31st was deadline day, and it was a busy one. Players leaving included Tom Walker to Bury and Conor Wilkinson to Chesterfield (both on loan), whilst keeper Ben Alnwick (Peterborough United) came in to provide competition for Mark Howard. In a last-minute shock deal, Kaiyne Woolery joined Wigan for £250,000 where he would go on to produce absolutely jack all.

Wanderers took young striker Keshi Anderson on loan from Crystal Palace, attacking midfielder James Henry on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers and who-knows-what-position Sammy Ameobi from Newcastle United, also on loan. Tom Thorpe joined at the 11th hour on loan too from Rotherham United.

Fans were generally content with the deals made, with our attacking options being bolstered as a priority.

We headed into September with cautious optimism.