Focusing On Oldham Athletic

Last updated : 23 January 2005 By Mark Heys
Bolton Wanderers will make the short journey across Lancashire next Sunday afternoon to face near neighbours Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup fourth round.

The game at Boundary Park will be the first official contest between these two clubs since a goalless draw was shared out in the old Division One at the tail end of the 1996-1997 season.

It is eleven years since these clubs last came head to head in the FA Cup. In March 1994 a late goal from Darren Beckford broke Wanderers hearts as the then Premiership Latics marched onto the Semi Finals.

Can the Latics carry on their FA Cup fairytale
Since that day at Burnden Park both teams have encountered contrasting changes in fortune.

Bolton have made their way into the top flight and managed to consolidate their place amongst the nations elite teams with players such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Ivan Campo and El-Hadji Diouf to call upon, whilst Oldham now occupy a mid table position in League One having suffered two relegations in the last decade.

So, what do we know about the Oldham team of today, BoltonMad takes a look at the Latics players who will be facing the Wanderers next weekend.


Former Arsenal player who took over as manager at Boundary Park in March 2004 following Iain Dowie's decision to move to Crystal Palace. Talbot had previously guided Rushden & Diamonds into the football league and has also had experience as manager of West Bromwich Albion where a certain Sam Allardyce was on the coaching staff.

TONY PHILLISKIRK (Assistant Manager)

A person who is well known to Bolton supporters having topped the Wanderers goalscoring charts in the late eighties and early nineties. Philliskirk served a number of clubs in a fifteen year playing career and at one stage looked to be heading for a career as a referee before the opportunity arose to move into coaching with Oldham late in 1998.


Another person familiar to Wanderers having played a key role in the Trotters promotion to the Premiership in 1997. Sheridan only finished playing last season and took charge of the team on a temporary basis when Iain Dowie moved to Crystal Palace. As a player he had a reputation as a tigerish midfielder notably with Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and the Republic of Ireland.


This experienced full back or midfielder has found opportunities mixed at Boundary Park this season but has nonetheless become an important member of the first team squad.

Appleby has made over 250 appearances in league football having served Newcastle United, Darlington, Barnsley and the Latics in a 15 year playing career.


Young striker who made his Oldham debut on the final day of the 2003-2004 season in the 1-1 draw against Notts County. Barlow has continued to build on his progress with Athletic into this season and has been used frequently as a substitute during the Latics League One campaign.


Centre half who was signed from Newcastle United for £150,000 in November 2001. Beharall made half a dozen appearances in the Premiership during his time with the Magpies but has been unable to find much consistency since moving to Boundary Park.


The former Fulham and Barnsley player has proved to be an excellent addition to the Latics team since signing for the club in September 2004. Betsy impressed the Lancashire club when on loan with Hartlepool United and has since contributed five goals to the team including a double during the recent win over Peterborough United.


Midfielder with a wealth of football league experience. Ormskirk-born Bonner returned to his North West roots in March 2004 following a six year stint in Wales with Cardiff City.

The 30-year old schemer began his career with Blackpool in 1992 and played against the Wanderers a couple of times during our stint in the old Second Division. He is also a player whom Sam Allardyce knows well following their time together at Bloomfield Road.


Midfielder who made his debut against Gillingham back in February 2000 and has remained part of the first team set up ever since. The 23-year old has been unfortunate to suffer a number of injury problems throughout his career and hasn't played for Latics since December.


Central defender who is currently on loan to Oldham from Premiership side Blackburn Rovers. Bruce is the son of the Birmingham City manager and ex-Manchester United captain Steve Bruce and is said to have a bright future in the game.


Another loan player and a former England youth international who is very highly rated at his club Manchester City. Croft missed Oldham's giantkilling win against the Citezens due to the terms of his loan deal but could be in line to face Wanderers when the two sides meet next week. The young winger has got two goals to his name since arriving at Boundary Park in November.


Now in his second spell with the Latics, Eyre was a member of the Oldham squad which last faced Wanderers in the FA Cup back in March 1994 but did not get to play. A midfielder or striker he returned to the North West in 2001 following spells with both Scunthorpe United and Hull City.


An experienced midfielder who is now in his 16th year as a professional footballer. Eyres will be celebrating his 41st birthday next month but has showed no signs of packing up the game. Prior to the appointment of Brian Talbot he took charge of first team affairs along with John Sheridan following the departure of Iain Dowie to Crystal Palace.

The likeable Scouser has played in the North West throughout his career and has served Blackpool, Burnley, Preston North End and the Latics for whom he has been with since October 2000.


The youngster has found a new lease of life under the management of Brian Talbot having been successfully converted from a midfielder into a defender. Griffin has been a regular left back in the Oldham first team this season and looks to build on the progress he has already made during his first 18 months as a full professional.


Scottish centre half who has also benefitted from a change of manager. Haining has become a permanent fixture in the heart of the Oldham defence this season and has got three goals to his name thus far in the Coca Cola League One. The Glasgow-born star has been monitored closely by a number of higher league clubs throughout the course of the season.


Teenage striker who is just finding his feet in the football league having made his debut for Oldham during their game with Peterborough United in October 2003. The 18-year old has made three appearances for the Latics this term but has yet to see any action in 2005.


Central Defender who has formed a good understanding with Will Haining in the Oldham Athletic back line. Hall has become a regular feature for the Latics since making his breakthrough into the first team squad at the start of the 2003-2004 season.


Current Oldham captain and a very familiar face to Bolton having served the club from 1997 to 2001. A broken leg hampered Holden's early promise at the Reebok Stadium but a move to Boundary Park just over three years ago has helped the ex-England youth player rebuild his footballing career.

It is touch and go as to whether or not the Salford born star can make the game against his former club having recently suffered a ligament problem.


Irish midfielder who is currently on loan to the Latics from Premiership club Tottenham Hotspur. Not quite a famous as his Manchester United namesake but nevertheless he is looking forward to a long and successful career. Has also had a spell out on loan with Northampton Town earlier on in the season.


Quick and nimble forward who scored for Crewe Alexandra when they faced Bolton in Sam Allardyce's first game in charge in October 1999. The St Vincent international has since served Rushden & Diamonds and the Latics but has struggled to find the prolificness which earned him a £650,000 move from Torquay United to Crewe back in 1998.


Jamaican international who is yet another former Bolton Wanderers player on Oldham's books. Johnson only left the Reebok Stadium last season and has impressed sufficiently in his short stay at Boundary Park. Unfortunately the 24-year old will not be able to make the tie against the Trotters as he is currently on the treatment table.


The England youth player has been in fine form since arriving at Boundary Park on loan from Birmingham City in November. Kilkenny has hit 5 goals during his stint in Lancashire and will be looking to impress during next week's contest against the Wanderers. The 19-year old began his career as a trainee with Arsenal before moving North last season.


New Zealand international who is Oldham's top goalscorer this term with 11 goals. Killen has been missing with injury in recent weeks but will be hoping to be fit for the game with Bolton. A former Manchester City youngster, he has also had loan spells with Wrexham and Port Vale prior to his move to Oldham last year.


Young defender who has been on the fringes of the Athletic team all season. Lomax is in his second year at the Oldham youth academy but has shown enough to be involved in the first team set up.


Former Swindon Town goalkeeper who signed for the Latics earlier on this season following a spell with Notts County. Mildenhall has had to wait patiently for his chance as regular custodian Les Pogliacomi continues to impress between the sticks.


Giant Australian goalkeeper who has been a regular at Oldham since signing from Paramatta Power two seasons ago. Pogliacomi is the undisputed number one at Boundary Park and has often been the subject of attention from higher league clubs notably Crystal Palace.


Manchester born striker who was the hero for the Latics during their cup heroics over Manchester City earlier this month. Vernon scored the only goal of the game that day and will be looking to add to his rising credibility against the Wanderers next week. The 21-year old hit 12 goals last term but was surprisingly farmed out to Blackpool on loan earlier on in the campaign.


Wilkinson is another forward and was signed from non-league Nantwich Town last year. Unfortunately he has been unable to break into the first team picture as often as he would have liked this term.


Another teenager who has been involved in the first team squads this season. Wolfenden made his debut as a 16-year old for his hometown club during their game with Swindon Town in November 2003.