New Bolton Wanderers signing Darren Pratley: Swansea forced me out

The midfielder is sad to end his five-year association with the Swans after guiding them to the Premier League, but he admits the lure of the Trotters made his decision easier
New Bolton Wanderers signing Darren Pratley has hit out at Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins for not doing enough to keep him at the Liberty Stadium.

The midfielder left the newly promoted Swans to sign for Bolton on a free transfer after his contract expired at the end of the season, but Pratley admits he never expected to leave the club.

“I was asked if I would like to stay by the media and I said I would," he said.

"I liked living in Swansea and got on well with my team-mates.

“But then the chairman [Jenkins] said he was in no rush to give me a contract. When you see that, it’s not nice. I wanted to commit, but he didn’t.”

Pratley made 41 appearances for the Swans last season, scoring in their play-off semi final victory over Nottingham Forest and making a substitute appearance in the final against Reading.

However, after sealing promotion for the Swans at Wembley, Pratley admits he quickly settled on a move to the north-west after five years in South Wales.

“I played through the season and after Wembley I had a sit down and picked Bolton,” he said.

"I was professional, I didn’t throw the toys out of the pram. My mind wasn’t elsewhere.

“I joined Swansea when they were down at the bottom and left when we went into the Premier League.”

And the midfielder admitted the style of football that Bolton manager Owen Coyle has introduced at the Reebok Stadium was a big factor in his decision, rather than big offers from other clubs interested in his services.

“I could have made more money at other clubs, but I liked the way Bolton play and the manager impressed me,” he added.

“I have totally left my comfort zone. I am moving into a new area, bringing the family up here. But it is the new challenge I need.”

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