Bristol Rovers sanction transfer exit as Premier League loan pair confirmed

Bristol Rovers have confirmed two new summer signings ahead of their penultimate pre-season friendly with Swansea City.
Bristol Rovers have done two bits of transfer business from Brentford. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)Bristol Rovers have done two bits of transfer business from Brentford. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Bristol Rovers have done two bits of transfer business from Brentford. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Jed Ward has left Bristol Rovers for a season-long loan deal with Wealdstone.

The Gas preferred a National League move for Ward, who is considered part of their long-term plans but needs experience. He is under contract at the Memorial Stadium until at least the end of the 2023/24 season.

The 20-year-old made 27 appearances for Hungerford Town last year in the National League South before he was recalled. He has five senior appearances for Rovers under his belt including two League One appearances.

He will get the opportunity to remind his players of his skills when Wealdstone face Rovers’ League One rivals Wycombe Wanderers in a friendly this evening. His move was confirmed by Wealstone

Ward’s temporary departure paves the way for Matt Cox to join from Brentford. He has followed the club on social media and is underwent a medical on Tuesday, before his move was confirmed at 6.30 pm on Tuesday along with Tristan Crama.

The 20-year-old is highly rated by the Bees and is under contract at the London club until 2028. He was at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Argentina in May, and kept a clean sheet against Tunisia. Cox had former Bristol Rovers loanee Jarell Quansah and ex-loan target Harvey Vale in front of him when playing for the Three Lions.

Joey Barton has tried to source competition for James Belshaw and signed Ellery Balcombe from Brentford on loan last season. Brentford made Rovers play Balcombe for three games before he was later dropped for Belshaw.

Belshaw has been Rovers’ first choice under Barton since the 2021/22 season and has mainly had the inexperienced Ward as his goalkeeping rival. Anssi Jaakkola has taken his place amongst the coaching staff and the imminent arrival of Cox will see Belshaw tested by a highly-rated goalkeeper.

Rovers have also managed to sign Tristan Crama on a season-long loan from Brentford. He is a 21-year-old French centre-back and adds depth to an area that was on Barton’s transfer agenda. He along with Cox featured in Brentford B’s 1-0 defeat to Rovers earlier this month and so Barton will have been impressed by what he saw.