Predicting the next 3 Bristol Rovers wonderkids to break through into the first-team | OneFootball

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Football League World

·3 September 2023

Predicting the next 3 Bristol Rovers wonderkids to break through into the first-team

Article image:Predicting the next 3 Bristol Rovers wonderkids to break through into the first-team


  1. Bristol Rovers have a strong academy, producing Football League stalwarts like Lockyer, Broom, and Kilgour, as well as the thriving Scott Sinclair.
  2. Matthew Hall, a recent arrival at the club, could soon break into the first team due to the goalkeeping situation and potential vacancies.
  3. Ryan Jones, a talented midfielder, has featured in cup competitions but may be loaned out for more experience before contributing to the first team in league action.

Even though Bristol Rovers have relied heavily on the transfer market to boost their squad in recent seasons, they still have plenty of promising youngsters progressing through the ranks at the Memorial Stadium.

Football League stalwarts like Tom Lockyer, Ryan Broom and Alfie Kilgour have all graduated from the Rovers' academy in recent years, while Scott Sinclair is thriving for the Gas having returned to the club he left for Chelsea as a 16-year-old.

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Although Joey Barton's attempts to mount a possible promotion charge have perhaps limited opportunities to blood young players, Football League World has taken a look at three players who could soon break into the first team.

Matthew Hall

Although Hall only arrived at the club this summer having been released by Southampton, he could be the beneficiary of the unusual goalkeeping situation at Rovers.

Barton has revealed that James Belshaw has requested to leave the club after losing his place between the sticks to Brentford loanee Matthew Cox. This has meant Hall has been on the bench for the last four league games.

Although his only previous senior football has come in Non-League, Hall now finds himself on the cusp of playing in the first-team for a League One side.

With Cox likely to return to Brentford at the end of this season, good performances in training and potential starts in the cup competitions could see the 20-year-old contend for a starting spot this time next season.

Ryan Jones

Midfielder Jones has already featured in both the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup for Rovers, although he may have to wait a while longer to feature for them in league action.

He showed his versatility in pre-season by filling in at left-back for a number of friendly fixtures, but it appears Barton and his coaching staff are planning to loan the former Fulham academy youngster out for the season.

First-team coach Andy Mangan said of the 21-year-old: "Jonesey has got all the ability in the world, the thing with him, and where he needs to improve is he needs to be a little bit more vocal, a bit more demanding of the players around him.

"Long-term plan for him would be to loan him out, the lad needs games. Young players need to be exposed to these minutes to get the experience and come into the first-team and contribute."

Having spent last season with Hungerford Town in the National League South, a step up this season could set Jones up for a long-term future at the Memorial Stadium.

Jerry Lawrence

Given Lawrence made his League One debut for Rovers at the tender age of 17, fans of the club have every right to be excited about his future.

He may have only come on as a late substitute in that appearance, but the midfielder won the club's academy player of the season in 2021-22 and was on the bench for a recent Carabao Cup defeat to Ipswich Town.

Lawrence only signed his first professional contract in October 2022, and he is already a part of his manager's thinking.

Speaking after the youngster had signed that deal, Barton said

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