Portsmouth transfer news: Why James Bolton believes Plymouth move isn't a backward step

Former Pompey defender James Bolton doesn’t view his move to Plymouth as a backward step.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:30 pm

The right-back brought his two-year spell at Fratton Park to an end on Thursday by moving to the Pilgrims for an undisclosed fee.

Bolton still had a year remaining on his Blues deal, after arriving from Shrewsbury on a free transfer in 2019.

But with new head coach Danny Cowley keen to put his own stamp on the Pompey squad, and raise extra funds for his rebuild, the 26-year-old was given permission to leave.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

His departure marks the end of a frustrating spell for the defender, with Bolton largely overlooked last season as both Kenny Jackett and then Danny Cowley favoured Callum Johnson for the right-back role.

Twenty outings were recorded during the 2020-21 campaign, but only eight of those were starts in the league.

One came in the 2-2 draw with Plymouth at Fratton Park back in February – a game Bolton scored in to rescue a point for the hosts.

And as the former Shrewsbury man prepares for a new life at Home Park, he insisted the move should not be considered a step backwards for his career.

Former Pompey defender James Bolton has signed a two-year deal at Plymouth

Speaking to Plymouth Live, he said: ‘I didn’t really play much last year and I just want to try and get a bit of a fresh start.

‘I want to put a stamp on a new place, and try and get back to enjoying my football.

‘I have enjoyed it when I’m playing regularly, so fingers crossed I can do that here.

‘It’s a big club so I don’t see it as a backwards step at all.

‘When you walk in you realise what a big stadium it is. It would be nice to see it full of fans.

‘Hopefully the fans get behind us and we have a good season.’

Bolton is set to make a quick return to Fratton Park, with the Pilgrims set to face the Blues on September 4.