Bristol Rovers prospect commits future to Memorial Stadium with new contract

Jed Ward is currently out on loan at the minute but the Bristol Rovers goalkeeper is looking to what the ‘next few years could bring’

Jed Ward has signed a new deal which will see him stay at Bristol Rovers for the next two years.

His contract was due to expire next summer but he and the club have agreed to new terms that will keep him at the Memorial Stadium until the summer of 2024.

The young goalkeeper acted as an understudy to James Belshaw in the absence of Anssi Jaakkola last season, and made several EFL Trophy appearances last season.

He has one league appearance for the Gas to his name, having played against Blackpool in May 2021, an opportunity given to him by current first-team manager Joey Barton.

“I’m very pleased to agree to extended my stay at Rovers," he said.

"Really looking forward to what the next few years could bring and being a part of this special group of lads.”

Rovers boss Joey Barton added: “We are really pleased that Jed has signed a new contract with Bristol Rovers. “Since I’ve been at Rovers, Jed’s daily application has been superb and he has continued to improve. His new contract is a reward for that.

“For a young player, he obtained great experience being part of the group that got promoted last season and being out on loan this season will allow him to get vital game time, which will only further his development.

“He will continue to train at The Quarters as part of our first team group and the goalkeeping department at Rovers will collectively support and mentor him along that journey in order to help him challenge for the number one position at Rovers. Congratulations, Jed!”

Ward is currently out on loan at National League South outfit Hungerford Town, becoming their first-choice goalkeeper before an injury.

The 19-year-old made six appearances for the Berkshire-based club and kept two clean sheets in his first two matches.

He has a broken hand and is expected to be out for the next six weeks, but is expected to remain at Bulpit Lane in what is vital first-team experience for the youngster.

Ward becomes one of several players to commit their long-term future to the club after the recent announcement that Sam Finley would remain until the summer of 2024.

John Marquis, Belshaw, Luca Hoole, Ryan Loft, Trevor Clarke, James Gibbons, Lewis Gordon are the other players who are contracted until the end of next season.

Aaron Collins, Antony Evans, James Connolly and Luke McCormick meanwhile have deals that run until the summer of 2025, with Barton contracted until 2026.