REPORT: Alex Baptiste Given Bolton Wanderers Trial

Alex Baptiste

Alex Baptiste has been given a chance to return to Bolton Wanderers, according to a report from Marc Iles the Bolton News.

Baptiste is a familiar name to fans of several EFL clubs. In total, the defender has represented 11 current EFL teams plus non-league Tamworth.  Although, technically, he has only played EFL football for ten of these clubs as Burton Albion were still a non-league club when Baptiste played for them in February 2004.

Alex Baptiste Given Bolton Wanderers Trial

Baptiste Uses His Connections

In 2010, Baptiste helped Blackpool win promotion to the Premier League. During their promotion-winning season of 2009/10, he made 49 appearances in all competitions for the Seasiders. Although Blackpool only managed one season in the top-flight, it was one heck of a story. Among his Blackpool team-mates was Ian Evatt, who has recently been appointed as the new manager of Bolton Wanderers.

Both were members of Blackpool’s defence. Their work-rate and understanding formed the backbone of the club’s promotion-winning team. This was demonstrated during a 4-1 victory over Scunthorpe United in November 2009. On that night, Baptiste scored Blackpool’s fourth goal from 25-yards. Earlier in the match, he had also provided the cross for Evatt to score the equalising goal.

Ironically, Baptiste probably knows more about Bolton than their new manager, for he has already played for the Lancashire side. Following Blackpool’s inability to regain their Premier League status, Baptiste joined Bolton. Between July 2013 – July 2015, he scored four goals in 43 appearances for Wanderers.

Plagued By Injury

Sadly, injury has affected Baptiste’s career in recent years. Last summer, he joined Doncaster Rovers of League One. Just two games into the 2019/20 season, Baptiste snapped his Achilles tendon during a game. It seemed that the injury could end his career.

In February, Baptiste revealed his fears in an interview with The Doncaster Free Press.

“I thought it would be the end of the season and then obviously I might be struggling with a contract with having been out for so long and coming up to 34,” confirmed Baptiste.

“We were at the hospital on the night and the guy [medic] said it would be nine to 12 months.

“I was devastated. I just thought it [my career] was over.”

More Bad Luck

Around the world, many people are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some more so than others. To a certain extent, Baptiste has also been affected.

In February, he had almost recovered from his Achilles injury. He was enthusing over the prospect of again playing for Doncaster during the 2019/20 season. Unfortunately, the League One season was halted in mid-March due to the pandemic. This prevented Baptiste from resuming his career with Doncaster. The Yorkshire side then opted to release him in June.

Even at 34-years of age, a fully-fit Baptiste would prove a good addition to many lower league EFL clubs, especially as he has a wealth of experience from playing at a higher level with the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End and Queens Park Rangers.

Bolton are currently in training, awaiting the start of the 2020/21 season.


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