WANDERERS have beaten off a handful of League Two rivals to secure wing back Gethin Jones on a free transfer.

The former Everton academy graduate has signed a one-year deal with an option for a further 12 months on the club’s behalf.

Bradford City, Port Vale and Carlisle United were believed to have registered an interest in the 24-year-old – but Bolton managed to quietly broker a deal over the last couple of weeks to make him the ninth new arrival at the University of Bolton Stadium this summer.

“I’m really made up to have completed the move,” Jones said. “It’s been in the pipeline for a few weeks and I’m glad it’s all done.

“Bolton is a massive club that shouldn’t be in the division it is now.

“With it being so close to home and the size of the club it was the perfect move for me.

“Hearing everything from the club, about where they want to go and how they want to play this season, I just felt like it was a perfect fit for me.”

Evatt brought in Liam Gordon to fill the left wing back slot last week and was happy to even things up as he welcomed Jones to the club.

“Gethin had a fantastic education where he came through at Everton’s Academy and has all the attributes to play as an attacking wing-back: pace, stamina, good movement and quality with the ball,” he said.

“He is another excellent acquisition for Bolton Wanderers and we’re delighted to welcome him to the club.”

Jones, who primarily plays down the right, spent last season with Carlisle United, where he made 30 appearances in League Two.

The Australia-born, Welsh-raised defender was picked up as a 12-year-old by Everton from Wrexham and signed his first professional contract at Goodison Park in 2014.

He made his debut for the Toffees as a substitute against FC Krasnodar in the Europa League before being loaned out to Barnsley and Plymouth Argyle.

After playing for Wales at every youth level he left Everton in 2018 to sign for Fleetwood Town and then on loan to Mansfield.

After moving on to Carlisle last season Jones impressed with his consistency and turned down offers from elsewhere to sign a six-month contract extension.

He was offered the chance to stay at Brunton Park this season but turned down the opportunity.