With Rovers' return to the Football League assured, manager Darrell Clarke's first signing was strong central defender James Clarke.
The 25 year old had appeared against Rovers in January 2015 in the Gas' goalless draw at Woking and had earlier worked under his namesake at Salisbury City.
An Oxford United debut had come in the 2-0 victory at Kidderminster in the Conference in November 2007 and he had been sent off after 71 minutes of a 3-0 defeat against Burton Albion in March 2008 and, appearing alongside Lewis Haldane and Chris Carruthers, six minutes before half time of an opening day defeat at Barrow five months later.
Clarke had played 25 (+7) times in the Conference for United before 151 games with their neighbours had included promotion from the Southern League to the Nationwide North in 2011.
Thereafter, 75 (+1) appearances for Salisbury, this tally starting with a 2-1 victory over Hornchurch in august 2012, his side gaining promotion to the Conference in 2012/13, where he appeared in 36 (+1) matches during 2013/14, had preceded 28 (+2) games in the same division with Woking, helping the side to 12 clean sheets.
James made his Rovers day on the opening day of the 2015/16 season when Rovers played Northampton Town.
James enjoyed a successful first season as a Football league player and signed a new contract with the club in the su8mmer of 2016.
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