'A class act' - What summer signing Eoin Toal will bring to Wanderers

Toal is one of four signings at Wanderers this summer
Toal is one of four signings at Wanderers this summer

Wanderers fans are still waiting for their first sight of new signing Eoin Toal. We caught up with Simon Collins from The Derry Journal to get the lowdown on the young defender.

For anyone who hasn’t seen Toal play, how would you describe him?

Eoin is a big, physical guy. He is a fantastic reader of the ball. He doesn’t have excellent pace by any stretch, but he is very good at reading the game and he is rarely caught out.

He is composed on the ball and wants to play it out from the back. He is comfortable in every situation and is a tall guy as well, so he is very good in the air.

He doesn’t score as many goals as he probably should in terms of set-pieces but is very good defensively and on the ball. He is a class act and has lots of potential.

Despite his youth, he must have impressed at Derry to get the captain’s armband…

Eoin was kind of thrown in at the deep end at Derry and has improved technically in the last few years. It is also very physical and for a young guy to come in, he showed that he is fearless.

He is a quiet and unassuming character but when he is on the pitch – especially in the more recent years - he has shown leadership qualities.

Talking with the players and those who know him best, he is a big personality in the dressing room and that has been the case since he got the captaincy at Derry.

That experience has been crucial because since 17 or 18 years of age, he has been playing men’s football and emerged as one of the best defenders in the League of Ireland. He has also played in Europe several times, which is fantastic experience.

He has always wanted that move to England or that next level – he always said that from the get-go. Bolton was an opportunity that he couldn’t turn down and it has been a dream to fly over there.

Is he well-suited to Wanderers’ possession-based approach?

Yes, without a doubt. He can mix it up and be robust and physical, but naturally he is technically very good and that side of his game has improved as well.

(Derry manager) Ruaidhri Higgins puts the onus on playing out from the back and they have to be comfortable on the ball. He can pick out passes and keep the play ticking.

I think Bolton fans will be surprised with him in terms of making that step up. I think he can fit in seamlessly.

It will take time him a bit of time but he is confident he can hit the ground running once he gets over that ankle knock.