Stuart Sinclair arrives at the Memorial Stadium
Manager Darrell Clarke continued his recruitment drive today when he completed the signing of former Salisbury City midfielder Stuart Sinclair.
Last season 26 year old Sinclair made 37 appearances in all competitions for the Whites.
He began his career with Luton Town and since leaving the Hatters has played for Cambridge City, Bedford Town, Dunstable Town and Arlesey Town as well as Salisbury.
Sinclair is Darrell’s fifth signing of the summer and completed the necessary paperwork this afternoon after meeting his new team mates and enjoying his first training session with the club.
His arrival coincided with the first day of pre-season training, so nothing like being thrown straight in at the deep end!
“It’s been a hectic couple of days trying to get everything sorted and coming down to Bristol, but it’s just a pleasure to be here.
“Obviously I know the gaffer from my time at Salisbury, where he got the club promoted into the Conference. That was a great period in my footballing career and, of course, he’s one of the reasons I’ve joined Rovers
“However this is such a big club, and with tremendous support, and I’m really looking forward to getting involved and kicking on.”
His footballing career has been spent at non-league level, though there has been a gradual upwards progression since he left Luton Town.
“Luton were a Championship side when I was there, but I wasn’t offered a pro deal at the end of my scholarship and since then I’ve gradually progressed up the leagues.
“Since then I’ve also become a personal trainer and I’ve undertaken some fitness work with a number of athletes, which I enjoyed a great deal.
“However this is now a wonderful opportunity to try to progress my footballing career even further.”
His style of football can probably be summed up in a single word – energetic, though that doesn’t really do him justice!
“I’m an energetic player, with a willingness to succeed and to progress and I will always try to be the best I can.
“I guess you would say that I’m a box to box player. Last year I played left wing back, right wing back, central midfield and left back, so can play in most positions. I would say I understand the game and I guess that helps.
“I like to get about the pitch, get in people’s faces, and try and win the ball back.”
He admits Rovers face a tough introduction to the world of non-league football.
“It’s going to be tough; the top sides, especially, are structured and well organised and clinical in both boxes and will punish any mistake.
“There are the games where you will travel to play in front of a very small crowd in midweek in a tiny stadium which will be a totally different experience to playing at the Memorial Stadium.”
At least there were a few familiar faces in the dressing room this morning.
“I know a few of the lads already having played with, and against, a few of them. They are good players; Jamie White, for example, is a very good finisher as is Matty Taylor.
“My first day was good as it could be; pre-season is always hard, but I did OK in the running which was good, and we had the footballs out this afternoon so it went well.”
His brother Rob has also just left Salisbury, and signed for Forest Green, so there are a couple of fixtures he’s looking forward to.
“Rob is a central midfielder and it will be interesting when we play each other as we both have long hair and beards!
“We’ve never faced each other before and while I look forward to every game, the ones against Forest Green will be a little bit special!”
Darrell Clarke was pleased to have finally got his man.
“Stuart has won Player of the Year at Salisbury for the last two years and he had quite a few offers through the summer but he’s taken time to make his decision and I’m delighted he’s decided to join us.
“He’s a very good box to box midfielder and can play anywhere across the middle of the park. I would say his best position is bombing on and being creative. He has a really good engine on him and this morning he won the run we did by a minute, and so he’s a welcome addition to the squad.
“As soon as I knew he was out of contract at Salisbury I knew I wanted to bring him here.”
Chairman Nick Higgs said; “I am delighted to welcome Stuart to the Memorial Stadium.
“He’s obviously a player that Darrell knows very well and I know how keen he was to bring him here.
“Darrell’s squad is now taking shape, although I think we can expect a few more additions in the coming weeks.
“In the meantime I wish Stuart every success in his Bristol Rovers career.”