Sam Ricketts: We tried hard to keep James Bolton at Shrewsbury - but we wish him well at Portsmouth

James Bolton has moved to Pompey from Shrewsbury. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images
James Bolton has moved to Pompey from Shrewsbury. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images
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Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts insisted he did everything he could to keep hold of James Bolton. 

The right-back has become Pompey’s first signing of the summer, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal. 

Bolton made 85 appearances for the Shrews after arriving from National League side Gateshead in 2017. 

Ricketts was keen the extend the 24-year-old’s ew Meadow stay and discussed fresh terms with him twice throughout the course of last season.

However, the pull of moving to Fratton Park proved too tempting for Bolton.

Ricketts told Shrewsbury’s website: ‘Bolts is a great lad, a great character and has been great since I’ve come to the club.

‘We tried very early on to offer him a new deal and spoke again a little while a go.

‘He wanted to see out the season and then see what was available for him.

‘He felt that at his age he’d be able to get a contract but also may get the chance to further his career elsewhere.

‘Unfortunately he chosen to do that and got himself a move to one of the biggest sides in the league.

‘He deserves the chance and we wish him well for the future.’

Despite knowing he was going to depart New Meadow, Bolton’s attitude remained ‘first class’ throughout last term as Shrewsbury avoided League One relegation. 

Ricketts added: ‘Bolts is another player who has come to the club and pushed on to earn a better deal elsewhere.

‘Unfortunately due to his age he’s left on a free but his attitude and commitment were first class to the end of the season.’