Former Bolton Wanderers Rotherham United man Kieran Sadler’s first words after move
KIERAN Sadlier was wearing a Rotherham United shirt when he realized Bolton might be a better fit.
In September, more than 20,000 fans took advantage of discounted tickets to watch a Wanderers – then third in the table – take on one of the promotion’s favourites.
Paul Warne’s savvy Millers deservedly won the game 2-0, with Sadlier making a late entry as a replacement for Will Grigg.
But the former West Ham trainee had seen enough, both in the way Ian Evatt’s side played their football and in the atmosphere around him, to think that the next time Bolton came knocking, that’s where he would sign.
Evatt had tried in the previous two transfer windows to bring him to UniBol, luckily the third time was a charm.
“I came in at the end of that game and it seems a bit cliche now, but I felt at home,” he said of the September meeting. “I was aware of the interest at the time and said afterwards that I wanted to play here.
“I loved what the gaffer was doing, the way they played suited me, and that’s one of the main reasons I came here.
“It’s been a while to come but honestly I’m so happy to be here. It’s a club I’ve played this season, I came here at the start, I was thinking what a great stadium, the fans , I liked the way they played. The way they wanted me, there’s no other place I wanted to go, that’s the truth.
WATCH: Keiran Sadlier’s spectacular goal from his own penalty area!
Rotherham have developed an efficient, physical and superbly organized side which have oscillated between League One and the Championship over recent seasons – but Sadlier admits the football played at Bolton is more like that played at Doncaster under Grant McCann, in what was the most successful period of his career to date.
“I want to jump in and show people what I can do in Bolton,” he said. “And playing in a team that is my style of football, I can’t wait.
“I had a great 18 months at Doncaster and really enjoyed it there and then a little taste of the Championship last season.
“Last year and a half I was injured but I didn’t play as much as I wanted (at Rotherham) and the way they played didn’t suit me, if I’m honest.
“Coming here suits me and I can show like I did in Doncaster what I can do in this league.
“Everyone has a different path to get where they want to go and if you work hard and believe in yourself, you can do it.
“I’m 27 and a bit more experienced now, that’s a good age to hit my peak in the next two years.”
Sadlier played alongside Wanderers skipper Ricardo Almeida Santos at Peterborough United and has ambitions to play Championship football again.
“The club are on the rise, they got a promotion last year,” he said. “You only have to look at the stadium and everything around it to know it has the potential to come back up . I hope we can do that.
“I watched from afar, I also came to a game. It’s the little things where I felt really welcome, that’s quite important.
Sadlier is still awaiting confirmation from the EFL that he will be signed up to play against Sunderland on Saturday. But he’s looking forward to another sold-out crowd – more than 19,000 tickets have now been moved – and trying to impress his new fans.
“I can’t wait to see it,” he said. “I know there are a lot of tickets sold.
“We are up and Sunderland are doing well too.
“I finally arrived at a club, an extremely big club, and I can’t wait to be involved.”