Bolton Wanderers debut a dream come true for home-town boy Andy Kellett
HOME-TOWN boy Andy Kellett ended a long wait for Wanderers when he emerged from the bench to feature against Leicester City.
Before the Bromley Cross-based youngster played the final 19 minutes of Tuesday night’s game it had been eight years since a bona-fide Boltonian made his Whites debut.
In 2006, goalkeeper and lifelong Bolton fan Sam Ashton memorably went on as an outfield player in an FA Cup tie at Watford, in what proved his only appearance for the club.
Kellett will be hoping his first taste of senior football is a prequel to plenty more – but the 20-year-old is no stranger to impressing at the Reebok.
Thirteen years ago, Kellett was spotted by the club’s scouts playing in an end-of-season cup final at the Reebok for Bolton County. And he came full circle in midweek, living the fantasy of every Wanderers fan by stepping out in front of a home crowd.
“To come on and make my professional debut for my home-town club is just a dream come true,” he told the club after the game. “Leicester are a very good side, but it was just a privilege to get out there and play for my team.
“I felt I did all right with the amount of time I was given, but hopefully I will be able to get involved in the next couple of games and show the manager what I can do.
“I’m determined to go away in the summer and come back quicker and stronger to prove to him what I am capable of.”
Kellett won the club’s Young Player of the Year in 2011/12 and was rewarded with a trip to South Africa in one of the International Soccer School’s camps in Cape Town.
After progressing through the ranks as a full-back, the youngster has recently shown a versatile side, playing as a midfielder for the development squad.
Chris Lester also capped an incredible year by making his senior debut from the bench against Leicester.
The winger was called into the international fold by Northern Ireland Under-21s last May and had been in and around the first-team picture for some time.
Georg Iliev, the young Bulgarian striker who recently netted a five-minute hat-trick for the U21s against Spurs has also been on the bench in successive games.