Defender James Clarke, one of the players offered a new deal by manager Darrell Clarke, has today put pen to paper on his new contract.
The Aylesbury born player, who joined the club in 2015, made 26 appearances in all competitions for the club last season.
Manager Darrell Clarke had this to say this afternoon; “I am delighted that James has agreed to stay with us. His ability to play anywhere across the back line has been invaluable to us and will continue to be in the future.
“He has been a valued, and popular, member of the squad since he first joined us and I am looking forward to working with him again next season.”
The defender said; “I had no hesitation in signing a new contract with the club as I have thoroughly enjoyed the past two years, which has seen us gain promotion to EFL League One and finish tenth in that division.
“I really think that we have the nucleus of a squad that can be challenging strongly for a top six position next season and feel that there are exciting times ahead for the club.”
James was the manager’s first signing following our return to the Football League.
He had appeared against Rovers in January 2015 in our goalless draw at Woking and had earlier worked under Darrell 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 played 25 (+7) times in the Conference for United before 151 games with their neighbours, Oxford City, which included promotion from the Southern League to the Nationwide North in 2011.
Thereafter there were 75 (+1) appearances for Salisbury, 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. This preceded 28 (+2) games in the same division with Woking, helping the side to 12 clean sheets.
James made his Rovers debut on the opening day of the 2015/16 season when Rovers played Northampton Town and he enjoyed a successful first season as a Football League player.