‘Most effective’ – Bolton Wanderers summer signing poised for debut discusses best position

Jack Iredale insists he will be happy playing anywhere on the left flank for Bolton Wanderers, whether that be in the back three or as a wing-back.

The 26-year-old joined Wanderers as the club’s first summer signing. He signed a three-year deal with the Whites after departing Cambridge United on a free transfer.

He traveled out to Portugal to take part in his new club’s week-long training camp on the Algarve. He was the only new signing to make the trip as loanees James Trafford and Conor Bradley remained at home due to recent international duties.

READMORE: ‘Have to be patient’ – Ian Evatt opens up on two Bolton Wanderers missed transfer window targets

Iredale operates on the left flank of the pitch and comes in to act as competition for George Johnston on the left hand side of the defence. He has also played at left-back, for which Wanderers have Declan John at their disposal too.

Iredale could make his Wanderers debut tonight in the club’s first pre-season friendly ahead of the 2022/23 campaign. They travel to take on Longridge Town in a 7.45pm kick-off.

The summer signing grew up playing as a central defender and a left winger, before playing as left-back when he came to the UK. The latter position is the one where he feels most effective and the most enjoyable.

But he will be happy to just be on the pitch for Wanderers, as long as it is somewhere on the left flank. He has been encouraged by how attacking new team mate Gethin Jones can be in a back three and hopes to replicate it, as he knows skipper Ricardo Santos will be able to cover him.

He said: “I grew up playing left wing and then I grew up playing centre-half and then it was only once I came to the UK I started to play left back. I felt like probably left back was where I was most effective and where I was enjoying being able to contribute going forward as well and I started off the first half of last season there playing left back and enjoying my football.

“With injuries at the club, I moved back into center half and had to rely on that experience that I had when I was a bit younger. I felt comfortable there as well, so as long as I’m on the pitch, I don’t really care at this stage. Anywhere along the left hand side of the park I’m comfortable.

“Watching Geth when he was playing on the right side of a back three, he still had loads of freedom to get up and down the pitch, so I feel like I can contribute in that manner. It’s a position inbetween the two that I’ ve played all of last season so I don’t see why not.

“I’ve come here to play as many games as I possibly can. I’ve set myself that target to be in the team so for sure, I see myself being able to fit into that formation.

“If your performances drop, someone is going to take your shirt so you’ve always got to be setting yourself high standards and competing with those good players that are around you to first off get yourself in the team and then to keep yourself in the team.

“I like to think I’m versatile. I spent a couple of games last season playing left midfield as well, so anywhere up along that left hand side of the pitch, as long as Rico is covering everything for me I should be alright!”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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