Michael Forbes joins Bristol Rovers on loan

Michael Forbes joins on loan

Bristol Rovers is delighted to confirm the loan signing of Northern Ireland international defender Michael Forbes.

The centre-back joins Rovers from Premier League side West Ham United on a season-long loan and becomes the Club’s eighth signing of the summer, following the permanent acquisitions of Issac Hutchinson, Clinton Mola, Ruel Sotiriou, Bryant Bilongo, Joel Senior, Taylor Moore and Dan Ellison.

A regular in the West Ham U21s squad, Forbes has regularly captained the Irons’ development side and featured in his first senior squad in the UEFA Europa Conference League win over FCSB in November 2022.

Forbes will now continue his development in Sky Bet League One for the 2024/25 campaign with Rovers.

I can’t wait to get to The Memorial Stadium, play in front of the fans and test myself against seasoned, senior professionals.
Michael Forbes

“I am over the moon to join Bristol Rovers on loan,” Forbes said. “This is my first loan move and Rovers is a great Club to come and learn at. Rovers has shown a lot of interest in me and the conversations with the manager and George Friend have shown me just how they see me being a part of this team, and that was a really big selling point.

“I’m really excited to get started. It’s going to be a new challenge, and a completely different one to playing U21s football like I have with West Ham United. I can’t wait to get to The Memorial Stadium, play in front of the fans and test myself against seasoned, senior professionals.

“My hope is that my time with Rovers can help me reach the next level of my game. There are some really good players here that I can learn a lot from and, with the league games coming so regularly, it will be a great way to develop and grow too.”

Manager Matt Taylor said: “We are pleased to welcome Michael to Bristol Rovers for the 2024/25 season. Michael is a young defender with a lot of ability and a high ceiling in terms of his potential.

“This is Michael’s first loan in the EFL and his first opportunity to regularly play senior men’s football. With that comes the chance to learn and develop and we are looking forward to helping him do that with us in the coming months.”

Michael Forbes signs for Bristol Rovers

Born in Ardboe, Northern Ireland, Forbes spent time with Cookstown Youth and Dungannon Swifts before moving to the famed West Ham United Academy of Football in July 2020. The left-footed defender signed scholarship terms and was a regular in the West Ham U18s, making his debut for the U21s in December 2021.

Forbes signed his first professional contract with West Ham in the summer of 2022 and would be involved in the senior team squad for the first time for a UEFA Europa Conference League clash away to FCSB in November 2022.

A difficult run with injuries hampered Forbes' playing time in 2023 but the 20-year-old would feature in 12 matches for the Hammers U21s in the 2023/24 campaign.

Everyone at Bristol Rovers would like to welcome Michael to the Club and wish him every success for his loan spell with Bristol Rovers. 

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