The towering Fleetwood Town centre-back was never given an opportunity at Bolton Wanderers.
With less than two months remaining in the League One season, the race for promotion is hotting up. Sheffield United, eight points clear at the top, look to have automatic promotion, perhaps even the title, sewn up but behind The Blades the chasing pack continue to fight tooth and nail for that coveted second spot.
As it stands, Fleetwood Town are in pole position, a point clear of Phil Parkinson’s Bolton Wanderers. The hard-working, overachieving Cod Army are a credit to manager Uwe Rosler and the club’s astute recruitment system.
Yet, Bolton must be kicking themselves at the fact that, if Fleetwood do the improbable and reach the second tier of English football, much of the credit will go to towering centre-back Cian Bolger.
After all, a year-and-a-half after signing the then 20-year-old from Leicester City, The Trotters allowed Bolger to move to Southend United in 2014 without making a single senior appearance for the Lancashire club (except in the odd pre-season clash, below).
And, three years on, the Irishman is marshalling the three-man backline that has provided the platform for Fleetwood’s unexpected automatic promotion push –one that could well consign Bolton to an extended stay in the second tier.
At 6ft 3ins, Bolger is a magnet for aerial balls and an uncompromising presence at the heart of Rosler’s defence. He makes clearance, after clearance, block after block, and allows Fleetwood to sit back, soak up the pressure and spring match-winning counters
He’s even found the time to score five goals from centre-back.
And if Fleetwood beat Bolton to second, success will taste even sweeter to man never given an opportunity at the Macron.