More than a decade since he pulled on the white shirt, Fabrice Muamba is excited by the direction Wanderers are heading in.

The midfielder racked up more than 100 appearances for the club before his career was cruelly cut short aged 24.

He still follows Bolton closely and was in attendance for the EFL Trophy final last season, witnessing a memorable 4-0 win against Plymouth at Wembley.

Ian Evatt’s men currently sit third in the League One table and have won their last seven matches in all competitions.

Muamba is pleased to see the Whites building momentum and was impressed with their recruitment over the summer despite losing key figures in Conor Bradley and James Trafford.

“This year, it would be great if we can get promoted,” he told The Bolton News. “Ian knows the job inside out and he has assembled a different group to what they had last year.

“They lost some key members, but I think the recruitment has been more strategic in terms of what they want to achieve and what they want to get out of the season. Hopefully, they can go one step further than last season.”

The Bolton News: Ian Evatt with the EFL TrophyIan Evatt with the EFL Trophy (Image: PA)

Wanderers haven’t played in the second tier since the 2018/19 campaign when they finished 23rd under Phil Parkinson.

“It would be great for the town,” Muamba continued. “We have been (away from the Championship) for quite a long time now so it would nice to get back there and come up against some of the bigger boys.

“Hopefully, they can have a big push in January and maybe bring in one or two to help the club get over the line.”

The 35-year-old recently had a spell coaching in Bolton’s Academy, passing on the knowledge he gained from his playing career.

It was a rewarding experience and he is keen to keep doing what he can to help the next generation of footballers.

“I enjoyed my time there. When it came to making a decision, I was happy to move onto something different,” Muamba explained.

“I have got no hard feelings, I wish the club all the best and I enjoyed working with some of the young lads there.

“I have three boys who play football and you want to pass on the information you have learnt since you were young and share as much as you can with them.

“I want to help them be better than I was and guide them as best as I can. For me, it is all about just passing on information to the next generation.”

The former Bolton midfielder was speaking at the North West Football Awards where he presented his annual award for “outstanding service to football medicine and performance”.

This year, the prize was claimed by 76-year-old Alan Raw who is still involved at Bury, mentoring their young staff.

Raw preciously worked with the likes of Stan Ternent and Neil Warnock at Gigg Lane. He also had spells at Southend, Manchester City, Oldham and Fylde among others and carried out charity work.

The award was won by Wanderers’ head physio, Matt Barrass, in 2021. Barrass was recognised for supporting the players through turbulent times at the club and carrying out important work during the pandemic.

“It is great to recognise people’s hard work and I appreciate being able to hand out an award,” said Muamba.

“It is a privilege and an honour to be here and recognise people in the medical field, who sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve.”