Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle today made his first signing of the season as he captured the hard working Darren Pratley from Swansea City on a four year deal.
There may be a little disappointment from around the South Wales valleys as Pratley has performed well for the Swans, playing for over 5 seasons, and making almost 200 appearances. Pratley also has an excellent scoring record from midfield, scoring 31 goals, his last being in the Swans’ win over Nottingham Forest in the playoffs.
It does seem strange however, that Pratley has made his decision to leave just as the Swans are ready for the first season in the English Premiership.
A move away from the Liberty had been rumoured for many months before the playoffs, but with Brendan Rogers’ side now firmly cementing their place in the the English top flight with a win over Reading in the playoff final, many imagined the midfielder would put pen to paper and sign a new deal.
After all, Pratley has spent 5 seasons at Swansea, and has been a pivotal player during the last few years, so you would expect he would sit out and fulfill his dream. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case, with the player available for a free and of course he is open to go to the club which offers him the most money.
Likewise Swansea veteran Dorus De Vries has also left the club after four years and 178 appearances, the Dutchman joining Wolves to become the second choice keeper.
Of course, playing football is just a job to these players, and in that context a move to a bigger or more established club could be seen as a ‘job promotion’ in the real world. Do office workers show any loyalty to the companies they work for?
Its just a shame that genuine football fans don’t see playing for your local team as ‘just a job’ – their club runs through their veins, they support no matter what league the club is in – football is much more than that.
Something, sadly, players these days don’t take into account.