Preparations for life in League Two began in earnest today as Bristol Rovers announced that Stuart Sinclair has agreed a new contract with the club.
Chairman Nick Higgs is delighted that the popular midfielder has pledged his immediate future to Rovers, saying; “Stuart was one of our most influential players in the first half of the season and contributed so much to our success.
“He quickly became a firm favourite with supporters for his all action displays and his willingness to work so hard for the team.
“I think his performance in the home game against Gateshead, just before Christmas, typified the type of player he is and he topped off that performance by scoring a superb goal.
“Even when his season was curtailed through injury, Stuart did everything he could, behind the scenes, to help his team mates and although he would rather have been out on the pitch, he lent his support to Darrell and the rest of the staff whilst undertaking his rehabilitation programme.
“Always willing to meet supporters, at games and away from the Memorial Stadium, Stuart is set to become a very important member of Darrell’s squad next season and I am so pleased that he will realise his ambition of playing league football with Bristol Rovers.
“I am sure that, like me, Bristol Rovers supporters will welcome the news that Stuart has agreed a new contract with the club and I believe that securing his signature will show that we intend being a force to be reckoned with in League Two next season.”
Manager Darrell Clarke, of course, knows all about Stuart’s capabilities as a player, having been his manager at Salisbury City before bringing him to the Memorial Stadium last summer.
“Stuart has already shown what a talented footballer he is and I am delighted that he has agreed to remain at the club” said the manager.
“Having been his manager at Salisbury, I knew that he could play in The Conference and was surprised that he had never appeared in the Football League, so it’s pleasing to be able to give him that opportunity. If there is one player who deserves that chance, then it’s Stuart.
“Naturally, his all action displays catch the eye, but he is a very intelligent player who is very good at closing down opponents, possesses great positional awareness, and who also has an eye for goal.
“It was disappointing, both for Stuart and ourselves, that injury forced him to miss the tail end of the season, but he never once complained and simply got on with the work needed to get fit again and he was always there, behind the scenes, supporting us all.
“A naturally fit player who is always looking to improve, and a team player, Stuart will be a very important member of our squad again next season.”
Stuart began his career with Luton Town and on leaving the Hatters he played for Cambridge City, Bedford Town, Dunstable Town and Arlesey Town as well as Salisbury.
He made his Rovers debut on the opening day of last season in a 0-0 draw against Grimsby Town, and scored his first Rovers goal in a 3-2 win at Lincoln on 13th September.
An injury sustained at Gateshead in February meant that he missed the rest of the season, but he was at Wembley for the Promotion play off final, supporting his team mates, and is looking forward to appearing in the Football League for the first time in his career.