Ex-Wrexham midfielder commits to Joey Barton’s grand plans for Bristol Rovers

Stand-in captain Finley has been integral for Bristol Rovers over the last year

Bristol Rovers have tied down another one of their key players after Sam Finley extended his stay at the club.

The 30-year-old has added another year on to his current contract which will see him remain a Gas player until the end of the 2023/24 season.

Finley joined from Fleetwood Town last summer and played a major role in getting the team promoted as a driving force in the midfield. The former Wrexham midfielder got six goals in 39 games across all competitions of which 37 of those matches came as starts.

He joins the likes of Antony Evans and Aaron Collins to sign long-term deals, whilst Joey Barton himself signed a deal to keep him at the Memorial Stadium until the summer of 2026.

Barton himself has spoke about consolidating the clubs position for the season and then potentially taking the club to the Championship and even the Premier League.

The drive and ambition of his manager was a key factor in him signing a new deal with the Gas.

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“When I first came to the club the objective was to get the club back into League One where we think it belongs,” admitted Finley on the clubs official channels.

“The gaffer has been talking about where he can take this club and the objectives and aims he’s got for the club.

“I fully agree with him with the great backing of the owner we have got. I think this club can go to great places.”

Contract signings usually take place in offices but he committed his future to the club before playing a part in Rovers’ match with Ipswich Town last week.

He signed his terms whilst preparing for their match at Portman Road and did it digitally, affirming his desire to remain in the West Country.

“I’m delighted to get it over the line,” he said on the official club channels.

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“I signed it on the pitch before the Ipswich game, it was on a DocuSign on an email, so I signed it on the pitch last Tuesday.

“I’m delighted to get it over the line, thanks very much to my agent and the gaffer has his trust in me.”

Finley was part of a squad that will live long in the ages of many Rovers fans, as the squad that delivered promotion back to the third tier, after being relegated without any fans.

Rovers have mainly been a team around that level through their existence and promotion would have been expected of the team at the start of the 2021/22 campaign.

They started slowly however but after a tremendous run of form after the New Year, they went on to achieve promotion in dramatic circumstances, taking an automatic spot in the last ten minutes of the campaign.

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It was his first promotion that he had tasted at professional level after success with The New Saints in Wales, winning numerous league titles and Cup successes.

Commenting on any special moments last year, he said: “It was the objective when I came down here to get promoted and get this great club as high as it possibly can go. Luckily we’ve done that in the first year of having a go at it and hopefully many more to come.

“We were talking about that last night. We went round to James Connolly and Antony Evans. They have just moved into Clifton, me and Jordan Rossiter went round. We were talking about the run-in last year and about the Rochdale and Port Vale game.

“I live with Paul Coutts, he’s had four or five promotions and done numerous parties and promotions, it’s my first proper promotion. It was a special moment for me personally.”

Finley has continued his form into this season, starting eight of nine matches and was captain for five of them in the absence of Paul Coutts.

Up next for Rovers is one of Finley’s former clubs Accrington Stanley, who are the next opponents at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 24.