NO midfielder in League Two looked after the ball better than Brandon Comley last season.

The 24-year-old might not be the showiest signing Bolton Wanderers will make this summer, but with Ian Evatt looking to install his possession-based brand he might well prove to be one of the most important components.

With 86.8 per cent pass accuracy at Colchester United, Comley averaged 40.1 passes per game – a League Two equivalent of Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, or Manchester City’s Fernandinho, who both have very similar stats at their respective levels.

By his own admission, Comley arrives at Wanderers with a point to prove. Although last season proved a successful one on a personal level, he is yet to quite hit the heights that were once suggested when he came through the ranks at QPR.

His improvement at Colchester leaves him keen to push on again.

“I had a few ups and downs there,” he said. “The first season was really good, the second wasn’t my best, personally, but then last year I hit the ground running when I got my opportunity. They are a good group of lads.

“I really developed there, so hopefully I can bring everything I learned last season to Bolton.

“I want to get back into the swing of things and hopefully the fans can get back to watch us as well. I think that’s going to be very important for us this year.

“As a footballer it’s what I want to be doing – getting into training, working hard, and hopefully I can do well for this club.”

One point of note which will not have escaped Ian Evatt’s attentions is that Comley did miss a handful of games for Colchester because of international obligations.

Each time the midfielder made an 8,000-mile round trip to play for Montserrat, the country of his grandfather’s birth, it usually meant a shake-up in selection.

The journey involves a flight to Miami, then a connection to Antigua and a boat journey to the tiny Caribbean islands, which has a population of 5,900 people – or roughly half the size of Bromley Cross.

With a packed schedule in the CONCACAF region, including the Gold Cup qualifiers to come later this year, there is every chance, therefore, that Evatt will need to keep in regular touch with the national team coach, Willie Donachie, well-known for his work alongside Joe Royle at Oldham Athletic, Everton and Manchester City.

Comley has three goals to his name in 139 career appearances to date but has a penchant for the spectacular, as anyone who has seen the YouTube clip of his strike against Mansfield Town last year will attest.

Speaking to the club, he explained what Wanderers fans can expect from him.

“As a player I want to be ambitious, so hearing that the manager has got those same ideas is perfect for me,” he said.

“I try and do my best every single game, and that should be a given. This club deserves to be going up rather than in the course it has, so hopefully that is what we’ll be doing this season.

“I’d say I am quite versatile. I can mix it up, I can graft, but ‘d like to say I can play and fit into most structures.

“I wouldn’t say I am the most prolific goalscorer but every now and then I’ll come up with a good one. They do tend to be decent ones when I do score. I’ll try my luck a few more times this year.”

Colchester announced at the end of April that Comley, and others, were being released for financial reasons, as the club faced up to the effects of the pandemic. That meant he did not take part in the play-off semi-final defeat against Exeter City, and that the last time he played competitively was February 29.

Some 145 days later he returned to the training ground at Lostock – and was looking forward to getting back with a ball at his feet.

“The last few months have been strange,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back to a bit of normality, doing what I love to do. I can’t wait to meet all the lads and get on the wavelength of what the gaffer wants us to do.”