We've seen you before - now ex-Portsmouth and Stoke man is proving class act for Plymouth

Meet Plymouth’s inspirational defensive backbone behind five clean sheets in seven matches – yet Pompey fans are already well-acquainted.

Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 4:55 am

Certainly James Bolton is a familiar face to the Fratton faithful, following two seasons on the south coast before his Home Park switch.

Admittedly it has taken a while for the 27-year-old to click with the Pilgrims after his June 2021 arrival for an undisclosed fee.

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However, following a hamstring injury to Dan Scarr last month, the ex-Shrewsbury man has now claimed a regular spot.

Picked in the centre of a back three alongside James Wilson and Macaulay Gillesphey, he has since helped the Pilgrims to five clean sheets in seven games.

Now Bolton is scheduled to face his former club in League One tonight (7.45pm).

And the man who oversaw his Pompey exit following 53 appearances and three goals believes the defender ‘deserves’ his Pilgrims success.

James Bolton made 53 appearances for Pompey, scoring three times, before leaving for Plymouth in June. Picture: Joe Pepler

Danny Cowley told The News: ‘James has done really well for Plymouth, he’s a great professional, I only have good things to say.

‘I watched James come through non-league football to get into professional football, he is an incredibly hard working professional.

‘We only worked with him for a really short space of time, but I enjoyed working with him. He deserves all the success that he gets.

‘James just wants to play every game, which is why he went to Plymouth, and unfortunately on the second day of pre-season training picked up a really nasty ankle injury which meant he wasn’t available this side of Christmas.

Following an injury-hit start at Plymouth, James Bolton has established himself in their side. Picture: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

‘I know he would have worked very, very hard to get fit and have a lot of admiration for him.

‘James is playing in the middle of a back three, they ask an awful lot of him both in possession and out of possession, and I think his performances have been very consistent.’

Bolton was signed by Kenny Jackett on a free transfer in June 2019 as a replacement for Nathan Thompson.

However, he soon fell out of favour before establishing himself in the second half of the 2019-20 season as the Blues were eliminated by Oxford United in the play-off semi-finals.

Last season new recruit Callum Johnson was preferred at right-back, with Bolton making 20 appearances, of which six came under Cowley.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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