NEW Whites loan signing Craig Dawson hopes his move to the Reebok will enhance his bid for England Under-21s glory this summer alongside new team-mate Marvin Sordell.
Dawson, who joined from West Brom last week on a three-month loan, says he spoke with Sordell about life under boss Dougie Freedman before agreeing his switch.
Upper most in his mind is ensuring he retains a central role in Stuart Pearce’s young Lions squad ahead of June’s European Under-21 Championships in Israel.
Regular football will help after only featuring for the Baggies three times so far this season, but that’s not the only reason he decided to drop down to the Championship. “There were a few options available to me, but once I heard Bolton were in for me I knew where I wanted to play my football,” said the Rochdale-born player.
“I’m delighted to be here. It’s a massive club with some quality players and, most of all, a great manager.
“He’s a young, exciting coach and I’m really looking forward to settling in and working hard.
“I’d heard a lot of good things about him and I’ve seen it for myself over the first few days I’ve been here.
“We had a chat and I liked what he said, so that was a big factor in my decision to sign.”
A chance to develop his game was also a draw for the young defender as he bids to continue the improvement that has seen him make the leap from Radcliffe Borough to the Premier League, via Rochdale.
“Hopefully I can play in a lot of games and help the club push up the table,” he said.
“To keep improving you need to be playing games and, hopefully, I can challenge for a position here.
“I spoke to Marvin before I came here to try to get a little bit of inside information.
“Everything I heard was positive and I’ve seen that there’s a great set of lads here.
“I know him quite well and he’s been a friendly face, but the whole team has made me feel welcome and I’ve got on well with everybody.
“I’d like to get more games under my belt and learn more as a player, to improve and develop.”
The 22-year-old could make his Wanderers bow at Watford on Saturday, depending on how Freedman rates his fitness levels.
He is almost certain, however, to figure in the Under-21s’ next friendly against Sweden at Walsall in seven days’ time.
The centre-back was a key figure in the side’s qualification for the European Championships, scoring in the play-off against Serbia, pictured above.
He said: “With England, we need to start this year as we left off last – keep a tight defence and show the ability going forward to win games.
“And if we can take that into the championship we have the confidence and belief that we can do well in Israel.”