Bristol Rovers academy goalkeeper Jed Ward has signed his first professional contract, having been at the club since the age of eight.
The second-year apprentice has been an ever-present for the Under-18s, producing numerous eye-catching performances and showcasing a habit of saving penalties.
Tom Parrinello, Lead Professional Development Phase Coach, told the club website: “We are delighted for Jed and his family. He’s a fantastic lad with an excellent family support network around him.
“Both his and his family’s dedication to his progression has been outstanding during his time with the club so far, and his character and mentality match everything we look for in aspiring professional footballers.
“Jed has been with the academy since signing at the age of eight and has been a core member of that particular age group.
“His work ethic, desire to improve and his own personal standards is something that really makes him stand out, not only as a player with very high potential, but also as a terrific young man.
“Jed is deserving of his pro and having known him for nearly eight years, I’m extremely proud of him.
“He’s an outstanding shot-stopper with excellent distribution. That gives him a very good platform to build on, to kick on and develop into a fine young goalkeeper, which he is more than capable of.”
Development Squad Manager Lee Mansell added: “We are delighted to have Jed on board and thrilled that he’s bought into the project of the Development Squad.
“Jed has done really well at Under-18s level and has trained with both the Development Squad and first team on a number of occasions.
“He’s a very good project and has got the raw attributes to become a very good goalkeeper in the future.”