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Club News

First Summer Signings Announced!

26 May 2021

Bristol Rovers are delighted to confirm the signing of four players on permanent deals.

Sam Finley, Paul Coutts, Mark Hughes and Nick Anderton become the first summer signings by Manager Joey Barton, ahead of the 2021/2022 campaign.

Coutts, who is vastly experienced in the EFL with over 400 appearances to his name and multiple promotions on his CV, signs a one-year deal.

The midfielder has won three promotions, being promoted to the Championship with Peterborough United and Sheffield United, winning promotion to the Premier League with the Blades in 2019.

Midfielder Sam Finley, who featured under Barton at Fleetwood last term, pens a two-year deal with Gas.

A Liverpool native, Finley started his football education at Everton's Academy and has featured in Sky Bet League One over the past three seasons for both Accrington and Fleetwood.

Defender Nick Anderton, who captained Carlisle United last term, arrives at the Mem on a two-year deal.

The 25-year-old made over 40 appearances last season and has also featured for both Accrington and Blackpool.

Experienced defender Mark Hughes, who won promotion from Sky Bet League Two in 2018, has put pen to paper on a one-year contract at BS7.

Hughes progressed through the Academy at Everton to make three appearances for the Toffee’s first-team and has an array of experience with spells at Northampton Town, Walsall, Bury, Morecambe and Stevenage. A five-year spell at Accrington has seen the defender become a mainstay of John Coleman’s side, making over 200 appearances.

On the quartet of signings, Manager Joey Barton said, “It’s nice to get business done early in the window, as we see a new team for next season emerging.

“They are all lads that have predominantly played for northern clubs, so to attract them down south, it had to be a project that really excites them.

“We have been speaking to them about the ambition of the football club and the direction we want to move in. They have been shown around our new training ground, which is attractive to new players, but they can also sense the ambition that’s in the building.

“The four of them are certainly a foundation for a nucleus of a new team, alongside the existing players, as we start to build a platform to help us get promoted next season.

“We want people that aren’t going to be freaked out by some of the away grounds in the division and that have been promoted out of the league and have been part of title-winning sides.

“We’ve got further recruitment to do, but to add the level of leadership and the level of experience, with lads already having the experience of playing together – it’s not entirely putting a new team together, it’s people that know each other."

All signings will be completed on July 1st 2021.


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