Jed Ward: We’re motivated to kick on against Bolton


Jed Ward says the desire to push on and continue improving is serving as big motivation for Bristol Rovers’ home Sky Bet League One clash with Bolton Wanderers. 

Ward and his Rovers teammates welcome the Trotters to The Memorial Stadium on Saturday, with the visitors chasing an automatic promotion spot. 

The Gas may not be in a similar motivation but Ward says that does not make the team any less eager to pick up points. The idea of stopping Bolton’s drive to return to the Championship is a strong enough motive.

“Bolton have been in good form at home,” Ward said. “They won 5-2 against Reading last time. I don’t think they’ve quite hit the same heights in that away form but they’re a really good side and, on their day, they can beat anyone. 

“We’ve got to make sure we’re fully ready and prepared for the game. We know they’ve got threats, like Aaron Collins, but we got a clean-sheet and a draw on Monday and we want to kick on. 

“I know I’m going to be tested loads. They’re going to work really hard because they are chasing promotion, but I take motivation from that.”




It has been a life-changing few weeks for Ward, having only established himself in the Rovers first team in early 2024. A first call up for the England U20s was followed by signing a new four-year contract with Rovers.

Penning a new contract still feels somewhat surreal for the 20-year-old, who has quickly become an established member of the first-team squad. It is a feeling he refuses to take for granted though, as he sets himself even higher goals.

“It’s a nice feeling,” he added. “It’s great to be able to plan for the future. I want to set goals for myself. It’s nice to keep working with that bit of security of a four-year deal. I don’t know how long is normal for a League One contract but I know the length of this deal shows a lot of faith in me.

“I’m excited to be here for that time. It means a lot to me, especially coming through the Academy too. 

“I feel like I’ve become comfortable on the pitch with the players we have here. I’m understanding the style we want to play and I’m getting what I need to from becoming a dominant goalkeeper. I think I’m showing strengths and, as a goalkeeper, you’re going to face adversaries. It’s important to keep going and face the next games head on.”

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