Former Bury youth chief Mark Litherland has been appointed as Bolton Wanderers' new academy manager.

The 49-year-old was in charge of developing talent at Gigg Lane before the Shakers’ expulsion from the Football League 12 months ago.

Litherland said: “Bolton Wanderers is a huge football club with an incredible catchment area and I am delighted to accept the role.

”Having spoken to the head coach Ian Evatt and understanding his philosophy it very much mirrors what we were accomplishing at Bury in terms of developing youth.

“At Gigg Lane we produced 25 players for the first team and made over £2.5 million in player sales so I’ve got a good history in helping to develop players for the first team.”

From Great Harwood, Litherland was a semi-professional footballer with the likes of Bacup Borough and Accrington Stanley and began his first coaching role with Stanley when taking charge of their under 18s side, progressing to guide their reserve team.

He then moved across East Lancashire to join Burnley where he was responsible for the Clarets’ foundation phase programme.

Litherland then moved to Gigg Lane in 2013, initially as the Shakers’ lead youth development phase coach before taking charge of their academy structure.

Wanderers head of football operations Tobias Phoenix said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

“He brings with him a wealth of coaching experience and a strong track record of success in developing young players and putting them on the pathway to a career in professional football.

“There was huge interest in this role, with some very strong candidates shortlisted; however, Mark’s philosophy, which aligns with ours, drive and ambition shone through and we cannot wait to begin working with him.”

Litherland’s Bury work alongside Ryan Kidd, now with Blackburn Rovers, earned plenty of praise with several of the clubs’ youngsters, who reached the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals in the 2018-19 season, moving onto bigger clubs following the Shakers’ financial problems.