BILLY Crellin is out to show he is ready for first team football at Wanderers.

The highly rated 20-year-old keeper joined Bolton on loan at the start of the week from Fleetwood Town and has just five league appearances under his belt.

But after getting a glowing recommendation from incoming keeper coach Matt Gilks he is expected to be installed as Ian Evatt’s first-choice stopper in League Two.

“It’s 100 per cent my aim. I want to come here, impress and play,” said the England youth international.

“This is the season where I really need to kick on now. I have had a couple of seasons where I’ve been out on loan playing men’s football, had a taste of League One and FA Cup last year. But this is the year I need to progress my career.

“I knew at the end of last season that I needed to kick-on at Fleetwood or move out on loan somewhere.

“I’d told my agent and then a few days ago he phoned and said there was some interest at Bolton. It was a no brainer – the club of this size, with a big fanbase, at my age… It’s a perfect place to kick on.”

Blackpool-born Crellin was recalled by Fleetwood from spells at FC United and Chorley in the last couple of seasons to ensure he continued to progress at the right pace but it is hoped a season playing for a club expected to challenge at the top of League Two will stand him in good stead.

After being linked strongly with Sheffield United’s Jake Eastwood, Wanderers opted for Crellin at the end of last week leaving the youngster in no question where he wanted to continue his career.

“It came around pretty fast for me because I was meant to be back in next week with Fleetwood but they rang me and said Bolton were interested, and did I want to go and play?” he explained.

“I couldn’t turn down a club of this magnitude. I mean, it’s a Premier League club.

“At my age I was taken aback by it. I couldn’t wait to come and play.

“When I was growing up Bolton were in the Premier League with (Gary) Cahill, and I was a big fan of Jussi Jaaskelainen. I only found out the other day that he played 527 times, which you’ll never recreate.

“Now it’s in League Two – it’s not where it belongs. But they are here now and the only way it changes is by getting back up the leagues.”

Last season Crellin played nine times for Chorley, who were fighting at the foot of the National League. The last of those outings was a 3-1 defeat against Barrow, then managed by Ian Evatt.

“Chorley was a very good loan for me, a big learning curve,” he said. “There are three or four part-time clubs in that league but most are full-time and you could tell the difference.

“Chorley were part-time and it was a massive thing for me because it’s a lot of work. I was always in the game, you’d never get one where I wasn’t involved. I had that taste and this is the year that I want to push on.”

Given the fragmented footballing calendar in 2020, the youngster is now looking forward to settling into his new surroundings.

“We had the lockdown for 12 weeks and then I came back for a month with Fleetwood for the play-offs, which was good,” he said. “Now I have had another three weeks off and I’m back in to meet the lads.

“There’s five weeks left now, which is plenty of time to get back into the flow of football and some normality.”