Date: 28th April 2009 at 12:13pm
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Bolton Young Player of the Year. Doesn`t really scan does it, as the youngsters haven`t had much of a chance, unless you count Fabrice Muamba, and seeing as he`s a run away winner of Flop of the Season, it`s a good idea not to.

In the 2006-7 Bolton reserves won the Premier League North title, with a team made up mainly of under-nineteen year olds. The future looked brighter on that front than it had done for years. Only Chris Basham, James Sinclair, Nathan Woolfe and Rob Sissons from that crop remain at the club. The others are playing at lower league level or in other countries.

So rather than young player of the year, we`re canvassing votes for young hopeful of the year – the individual who you feel will stand the best chance of progressing with Bolton in the future. The candidates are as follows.

Chris Basham – Basham was released by Newcastle United, as they reckoned he was a bit on the small side. He stands six feet three now, but errors in judgment are common on Tyneside. How many managers is it this season?

Basham`s favoured role is as a holding midfielder, but he`s also played in central defence at reserve level and acquitted himself well. He`s been used at full-back and in a more advanced central position for the first team this season and showed the energy levels which are lacking amongst his colleagues. A much improved player this term. Long may it continue.

Mark Davies – A £1 million acquisition from Wolves in the January transfer window, and judging by the howls of anguish from the West Midlands, a bargain. Davies`s performance in his home debut against Spurs was so good that it drew a round of applause from his team mates after the match.

He`s been less impressive since and will have to improve his tackling and tracking back if he is to succeed at the top level, but a player who is comfortable on the ball and likes to run at defences can only be welcomed. The main worry is his injury history. He currently has a knee problem, an area that`s troubled him in the past.

Ricardo Vaz Te – Vaz Te seems to have been forever amongst the hopefuls. At the end of the 2005-6 season he scrored three times in four games and looked to have arrived at last. The campaign after he was a more or less permanent bench warmer, due to the arrival of Nicolas Anelka.

A poor attitude and problems staying on his feet have been the major impediments to his progress. Sammy Lee`s arm round the shoulder approach seemed to paying dividends as the Portuguese under-21 international bagged five goals in the 2007-8 pre-season, but he was injured in the first game of that campaign against Newcastle United and has struggled for fitness since.

Aaron Mooy – This young Australian won`t be known to most Whites fans, as he`s only featured at reserve level and not that much there. He could perhaps be a little more mobile, but his, ball control, passing and vision are comfortably good enough for him to succeed in the Premier League. Definitely one to watch out for.


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