In a surprise move, Bolton Wanderers have confirmed that midfielders Darren Pratley and Karl Henry will not be offered new contracts with the club. They will be leaving, along with veteran Aaron Wilbraham, whose goal ensured Bolton escaped relegation on the final day of last season.
Derik Osede, Doran Dervite, Chris Taylor, Jem Karacan, Mark Howard, Jan Kirchhoff and Chinedu Obasi had already been told they will be leaving after their contracts expired. There were no real big surprises in that column. However, Phil Parkinson had Pratley and Henry as his first-choice central midfielder pairing at Bolton last season.
The Bolton News understands that the Trotters boss has decided this as he wishes to assemble a younger and more energetic team for next season. Club captain Pratley is aged 33, but still managed 35 appearances last season. Henry played another 33 times, and the 35-year-old has been told he can go. Wilbraham is aged 38, so it is perhaps not so much of a shock he will be leaving. He has only started two Championship games since starting. Still, his experience may have been vital in the changing room.
Therefore, it promises to be a big summer of change at the Macron Stadium over the next few months. Under-23 trio Jeff King, Cole Lonsdale and Ryan White have also been informed that their services will no longer be required with the Lancashire club. Bolton now set their task on adding to their roster before the new campaign gets under way in August.
The club have taken up on options to offer an additional year to the contracts of David Wheater, Mark Beevers and Connor Hall.