Former Derry City skipper Eoin Toal on Ian Baraclough’s Northern Ireland radar

Former Derry City captain Eoin Toal played only his second game for Bolton Wanderers in Tuesday night’s Papa Johns Trophy penalty shoot-out defeat at Tranmere Rovers, but he has already come under the radar of Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough.

Baraclough, who managed Toal when Northern Ireland U21 boss, admitted last week that the big centre-back is someone who he has already spoken to about the future.

The Armagh man made the switch to the League One side in July and, after overcoming a troublesome ankle problem, he made his Wanderers’ debut in their Papa Johns Trophy Group B Northern section victory over Crewe Alexandra in August.

The former Sligo Rovers gaffer also admitted that Northern Ireland internationals Dion Charles and Conor Bradley have helped him settled into life at Bolton both on and off the pitch.

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The 23-year-old concedes settling into life in Lancashire has been made easy because of his team-mates, something which Baraclough expected.

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“I went to see him at Bolton training just after he moved over. He’d only just gone in and was finding his feet,” explained Baraclough, “Eoin is great, he’s someone I’ve worked with at an Under-21 level. He’s very level-headed and ambitious and I think he’ll do alright at Bolton.

“But he knows he’ll have to get into the team at Bolton and play regular football. He’s with familiar faces in Dion Charles and Conor Bradley as well, and he’s enjoying that companionship as well. But he’s on the right pathway to make the step up and hopefully he can.”

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Defender Eoin Toal played in Bolton Wanderers' penalty shoot-out loss to Tranmere Rovers.