Darrell Clarke today made Oxford United midfielder Liam Sercombe his first summer signing, bringing the former Exeter player to the Memorial Stadium for an undisclosed fee.
A number of other clubs were interested in signing Liam, and Darrell was clearly pleased that the player had chosen to join Rovers.
“Liam was one of my top summer targets,” said Darrell, “I was interested in signing him a couple of years ago as he is a quality attacking midfielder and I am delighted that he has agreed to join us.
“I’m sure that our supporters will remember him from his time at both Exeter and Oxford and will welcome and appreciate the way he plays the game and I am grateful to the club’s owner and directors for their backing as we prepare for next season.”
Meanwhile the player was pleased to have signed for the club and said; “I wanted the transfer to take place before I took my holiday so that I can relax before coming back to a lot of hard work in pre-season.
“As soon as I knew of Rovers’ interest, there was only one place I wanted to go. People who know me will also know how much I wanted to come here. I’m very happy and can’t wait to get started.
“I want to help this club go forward because in my eyes it’s a big club and one that can definitely go places and I want to be part of it.”
Sercombe graduated through the youth system at Exeter and made his first team debut for the club against Altrincham in August 2007. It was at the start of a successful Conference campaign for The Grecians, who were promoted to League Two at the end of the season.
Sercombe made seven appearances that season and appeared in 29 games during the following campaign when the club were promoted again, to League One.
After two seasons at that level The Grecians were relegated back to League Two in 2013, but the midfielder was a regular in their side side for the next two seasons before joining Oxford in May 2015.
His first season with the U’s saw him miss just one league game as the U’s, along with Rovers, gained promotion to League One. There was also an appearance at Wembley as his side were beaten 3-2 by Barnsley in the final of the Football League Trophy.
In the season just ended he was again a regular in the Oxford side and appeared in a Wembley final for the second successive year. Although his side were beaten 2-1 by Coventry City in the EFL Trophy Final, he had the consolation of scoring his side’s goal.
In his two seasons at The Kassam Stadium, he scored 17 goals in 77 league appearances.
Liam has appeared against Rovers for both Exeter and Oxford. His first appearance at The Mem for the U’s saw him pick up a red card as his side ran out 1-0 winners in September 2015, which he remembers well; “I asked Darrell why he was signing me, as there was my red card in that game and when I played here last season I set up a goal for Matty Taylor!”