WANDERERS will today return to the training ground for the first time since March to begin their preparations for the League Two season.

Ian Evatt will meet some of his players for the first time as they report to Lostock to begin an eight-week programme to build up to the return of competitive football, which will most likely be on September 12.

New signings Eoin Doyle and Antoni Sarcevic will be among the group, who will be expected to adhere to phase one of the EFL’s Return to Training protocols, which includes washing their own kits, bringing their own water bottles and maintaining social distancing.

It is also expected that goalkeeper coach Matt Gilks (pictured) will be present after completing the formalities of his contract with the club, and that the former Fleetwood man will also be registered as a player.

Evatt has deliberately brought his players back early to give him the best possible opportunity to bring them up to full fitness some 18 weeks since the last competitive match.

He will also be implementing an entirely different style of football to the one some of the existing players are used to – but the Bolton boss is excited at the prospect of getting down to work.

“It will be different, but I don’t look at it negatively because everyone is in the same boat,” he told The Bolton News. “There’s no point complaining, we want nothing but focus and a positive mindset going into pre-season.

“I wanted to give the players as much time as possible to get themselves right and to take on board what we’ll be asking them to do. For some it will be a big change, for others not as much, but we want everybody on the same page by the time the season starts.

“For the last four or five months, some of them will have been sat around on their backsides.

“But even those who haven’t are going to need some time to settle into a new playing style.

“The other thing is that when you are signing players from different pools you’ve no idea how hard they have been working there, and so people can come in at different levels of fitness.”

Including new additions, Sarcevic and Doyle, Evatt has 14 professionals on the books – and remains in talks with several other players.

Barnet defender Ricardo Santos, former Leicester and Cambridge centre-half George Taft and Sheffield United keeper Jake Eastwood are the latest names linked with a move to the UniBol.

Evatt is adamant, however, that the club will not deviate from their financial plan to rush more signings through quickly.

“It goes without saying that the more players we can get in the building early on, the better, but we are not going to compromise on what we feel players are worth,” he said. “I think we can be a little patient.

“We have got lots going on at the moment but we have to be sensible, and we will be.”