The Club is delighted to announce that Academy goalkeeper, Jed Ward, has penned his first professional deal.
The 17-year-old goalkeeper has been at the Club since the age of eight, progressing through the Academy ladder and impressing during his time as a scholar.
The youngster began his football journey at Bradley Stoke United, before being scouted by Rovers to join the Academy at the U9 age group.
The goalkeeper has been ever-present for the U18’s this season, impressing with a string of impressive performances, including a number of penalty saves in matches.
Ward becomes the latest Academy graduate to sign a professional deal with the Club and will join the Development Squad next season to continue his progression.
Lead Professional Development Phase Coach, Tom Parrinello, said, "We are delighted for Jed and his family.
"He’s a fantastic lad with an excellent family support network around him.
"Both his and his family’s dedication to his progression has been outstanding during his time with the Club so far, and his character and mentality match everything we look for in aspiring professional footballers.
"Jed has been with the Academy since signing at the age of eight and has been a core member of that particular age group.
“His work ethic, desire to improve and his own personal standards is something that really makes him stand out, not only as a player with very high potential but also a terrific young man.
"Jed is deserving of his pro and having known him for nearly eight years, I'm extremely proud of him.
"He's an outstanding shot-stopper with excellent distribution. That gives him a very good platform to build on, to kick on and develop into a fine young goalkeeper, which he is more than capable of.”
Development Squad Manager, Lee Mansell said, “We are delighted to have Jed on board and thrilled that he’s bought into the project of the Development Squad.
“Jed has done really well at 18’s level and has trained with both the Development Squad and First Team on a number of occasions.
“He’s a very good project and has got the raw attributes to become a very good goalkeeper in the future."