Bolton Wanderers have confirmed that midfielder Andrew Tutte will be a player-coach of the club’s new B team.
The 31-year-old was not offered a fresh playing deal with the first team at Wanderers following the end of last season, having made just one appearance in the entire campaign due to injuries. That came in the Papa John’s Trophy against Port Vale.
The previous season, Tutte played 20 times and earned a new one-year contract with the club last summer. The former Manchester City trainee was not offered a fresh deal this summer by Ian Evatt’s side for the first team and may have become a free agent able to move to other clubs.
It has now been confirmed, however, that Tutte will instead be a player-coach in the club’s new B team set-up which is being established this summer. He will assist newly appointed head coach Matt Craddock in the job.
Tutte said: “I sat down with the manager and staff after last season finished. They offered me the role and really it was a no-brainer.
“Coaching was something I wanted to get into when I finished playing and this is the first step. Opportunities like this don’t come along very often and especially at a club like Bolton.
“The last two years I have been at the club have been two of my most enjoyable, in terms of coming into training and the environment, and the manager and staff have played a big part in that.
“I’m looking forward to learning more from them and helping some good young players here. The ‘B’ team is a fantastic opportunity for them, with the games and coaching they will get, and I’m going to do my best to help them progress.”
As well as Tutte appointment, the club has confirmed that defender Adam Senior, goalkeeper Luke Hutchinson and forward Finlay Lockett have all extended their contracts at the club. The trio of Academy graduates have been tipped to be prominent members of the B squad which has been introduced to forge a better potential pathway to the senior side for the Whites’ young players.
Wanderers are looking to better bridge the gap between the youth and senior set-ups with the introduction of the ‘B’ team. It will play both Central League fixtures and a varied programme of friendly games against Academy and senior sides.
A number of new faces will be added, while maintaining a healthy home-grown presence of players who have progressed through the Wanderers’ Academy, including Senior.
“Everyone knows this is my club and where I want to be,” said Senior. “I’ve had a taste of first-team football and playing regularly at that level is everyone’s aim.
“We’ve got a fantastic squad and now having a ‘B’ team will also be a big help in terms of playing more games and having the chance to learn and develop for the future.”