Football League World
·5 September 2023
Football League World
·5 September 2023
Having comfortably survived in League One last season, Bristol Rovers are now in their second straight campaign in the third tier of English football.
The Gas, managed by Joey Barton, have recently had a partial takeover headed by Kuwaiti businessman Hassain AlSaeed which has bought fresh optimism, even if a deadline day deal to bring Jonson Clarke-Harris back to the club fell through.
After six league matches, Rovers sit in 17th position in the table, having only won one match so far but drawing three, losing twice.
One thing that will need to be addressed over the course of the season is contracts, with plenty of players seeing their deals run out at the end of the 2023-24 campaign.
Let's take a look at the 11 players who right now will be departing the Memorial Stadium when their contracts expire in June 2024.
Gordon, a former Scotland youth international, joined from Brentford last summer and has been a regular fixture under Barton.
The 22-year-old could do more when it comes to grabbing assists from full-back, but he's solid enough at League One level with the potential to improve.
An academy graduate, Hoole will likely pass the 100 appearance mark for Rovers later in the season.
A versatile 21-year-old defender, the right-back spot looks to be Hoole's if he is fit and available and it's important that he gets tied down to a new deal by the club.
The experienced striker joined last summer from Lincoln and hit the back of the net nine times in league action, proving to be a worthwhile option.
The signing of Jevani Brown however means it is likely that the 31-year-old has to play backup this season for the most part.
Rossiter followed Barton to Bristol Rovers from Fleetwood in 2022, but he hasn't been seen since December last year because of a knee injury.
The ex-Liverpool midfielder missed the entirety of pre-season and it's unknown when he will return to action - his lengthy absence could cost him an extension to his deal.
Finley is Rovers' current captain and is into his third season with the club - he is another player that followed Barton to the blue and white half of Bristol.
The 31-year-old will probably be in line for at least another year at the club if he continues to be a reliable presence in the engine room, having played 38 times in League One last season.
Gibbons joined from Port Vale in 2022 but wasn't always a starter under Barton - despite that though he still featured 34 times in all competitions.
He will battle with Luca Hoole for a spot at right-back when he has recovered from a foot injury, but if he has to play second fiddle then there's every chance he won't be offered an extension.
Some 18 years after making his debut for the club as a 15-year-old, Sinclair returned to Bristol Rovers in October 2022 in a deal that ended up being quickly extended due to his performances.
The winger scored five times in League One last season and whilst he won't always be a starter under Barton, his experience is vital.
It's likely that Belshaw will have to play second fiddle to Matthew Cox this season following his loan move from Brentford.
Belshaw kept just the eight clean sheets in 38 league matches last season and he will not likely see much game-time in the 2023-24 campaign.
Having barely featured for Birmingham City in the last year, Friend dropped into League One with the Gas over the summer to add some more experience to the defence.
The 35-year-old has started twice already this season in the league and he may not be able to do many 90 minutes as he reaches the end of his career, but his know-how will be important.
19-year-old striker is honing his craft in non-league and is currently back on loan at Truro City in the National League South.
Should he impress in the sixth tier then there's a chance that he could earn himself a new deal at the Memorial Stadium.
Rovers have an optional year's extension for Grant, who hasn't had the best luck with injuries in recent years.
The versatile 24-year-old missed most of last season through a knee issue but he is back for the 2023-24 season with a point to prove and likely with a hope that he will still be around next season.