“This is a big club with a superb fanbase” | Joel Senior’s first interview

Joel Senior poses with a scarf

Joel Senior is fully invested.

Since walking into The Quarters training facility for the first time, the defender has been completely sold on the Bristol Rovers project and his role in those plans.

The 25-year-old became the Club’s sixth signing of the summer on Saturday, following Isaac Hutchinson, Clinton Mola, Ruel Sotiriou, Bryant Bilongo and Dan Ellison in joining the Gas.

With the names joining the team, along with manager Matt Taylor’s aims and strategy, Senior is thrilled to be part of the squad.

“I’m delighted to sign with Bristol Rovers,” Senior said. “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I know the two sides had been speaking for a little while and, when I first heard about the chance of coming to Rovers, I wanted to jump at the opportunity. This is a big club with a superb fanbase, and has everything a footballer would want. I’m glad to be here and I can’t wait to get going.

Joel Senior poses after signing his Bristol Rovers contract

“I know a couple of the lads and they’ve told me all about the club, and the ambition here. From the outside looking here, I knew how big of a club Bristol Rovers is. Since I’ve come in and been around the training ground, you can see what a top facility this is and all the coaches and staff here are brilliant as well.

“As a footballer, you honestly can’t ask for anything more. I’ve been told about the club’s ambitions and how they align with the manager’s vision, and I can’t wait to help fulfill those targets.”

There is plenty of optimism as the new season rapidly approaches. For Senior, that positive feeling comes from the clear plan for progressing and growth he has seen at Rovers.

The intrinsic plan Taylor has shown the newest signing about his role in the team only emphasises the level of detail going into everything done at Bristol Rovers, all geared towards making this team as successful as possible.

Senior continued: “The chats with the manager have shown me how much he wants this team and this Club to be a success. It’s the same for everyone around the Club. With the facilities here, and the fanbase, Rovers is a Club that should only be looking up. That’s something we aim to do in the new season.

Joel Senior outside The Quarters

“We have to keep our ambitions as high as possible and see where that takes us. With the way the manager is speaking, with his level of detail, and the supporters and the players here, we could go very far.

“The boss has told me what he wants from me. In terms of my attacking threat, I want to bring goal contributions. Even though I am a defender, I like to get forward, and the manager has shown me he can help to develop both sides of my game.

“I really believe in what he’s told me during our conversations. He wants me to show my ability, and give me the freedom to get forward too. Those conversations have given me a lot of confidence and just confirmed that coming here was the right decision.”

The move to Rovers from Morecambe means a step into the third-tier of English football for Senior, an opportunity the full-back is eager to grasp with both hands.

With the way the manager is speaking, with his level of detail, and the supporters and the players here, we could go very far.
Joel Senior

With the move completed, the onus is on the defender to show he can bring his ability into League One.

“The step into League One was exactly what I wanted. This time last season, I wanted to have a good year and show I could make the next step. I feel like I’m good enough for this level, I just needed the chance to show it.

“Rovers is giving me the opportunity to play in League One and I’m looking forward to the chance to test myself against better players, bigger teams and new challenges.”

The Rovers squad returns for pre-season on Monday 1 July and Senior is ready for the hard work to begin. The defender is ready to give his all for the blue-and-white quarters. 

Joel Senior in the changing room

A home match against Northampton Town will kick-off the 2024/25 Sky Bet League One season on Saturday 10 August, and Senior is already excited to step up in front of the passionate home support as a Rovers player for the first time.

“That first time playing at The Mem is going to be special,” he added. “I’ve not played there before but, from what I’ve been told, it is an unbelievable atmosphere there. I’ve heard so much about the fans, and how amazing they are, so I can’t wait to run out on the pitch and meet them for the first time.

“They can expect someone who, first and foremost, wants to work hard. I want to drive up the pitch with the ball and help out in attack, but will also do all the work I need to in order to help defensively too. I’m quite a direct player and I think I’m quick too. I try to excite the fans, take people on, and give the fans something to cheer about.”

Read Time: 5 mins