Weston teenager Ryan Jones secures move to League One side Bristol Rovers
PUBLISHED: 19:10 16 October 2020
Weston’s Ryan Jones has secured a move to League One side Bristol Rovers, which is thought to be a substantial club record transfer fee, with the teenager re-joining The Seagulls on loan for the rest of the season.
Weston Mercury understands Rovers have beaten a number League One and Championship clubs for his signature after Weston received a number bids in the last 48 hours after Tuesday night’s impressive 6-0 win against Larkhall Athletic in the FA Cup.
“Ryan has done brilliantly and has earned this opportunity,” said manager Scott Bartlett.
“As a club, we are pleased that through our academy and first team, we have been able to help yet another player to go on and play professionally.
“Clearly there has been a lot of interest in Ryan and rightly so. Amongst all the speculation over the past few weeks, he has handled himself really well which is a credit to him.”
After joining at the age of 16 the teenager linked up with Weston Academy and the Weston Colleges under-19 squad.
His good form saw Jones get called up England Colleges before he was awarded his first senior contract in May.
Having started as a winger, Bartlett has moved Jones into a left-back and has impressed with his ability to move forward and defend, and has scored four goals and provided three assists in his 19 appearances so far.
Jones was on trial at Premier League side Fulham earlier this month where he played 60 minutes against Norwich City at Craven Cottage before scoring the winning penalty over Swindon Supermairne 24 hours later.
When asked on his current situation after their Cup-tie with The Larks, player-assistant manager Scott Laird, who scored 24 goals in 278 games in the Football League for Forest Green Rovers, Preston North End, Scunthorpe, Stevenage and Walsall, said: “Ryan Jones is special, he moves differently, he moves like a proper proper football player. The way he manipulates the ball, the way he dribbles, the way he skips past people. He’s quick, he’s tenacious and gets stuck in, he’s not afraid and confident.
“He’s got everything in my opinion to be a very very good footballer in the Football League and I hope he gets that opportunity.”
Jones is in a line with a number of players who have to benefitted from their time at Weston including players like Brad Ash, Dayle Grubb, Ryan Harley, Rollin Menayese and Scott Wilson, who have all forged their way with into the Football League.
Loan signings Archie Collins, Shawn McCoulsky, George Nurse, Joel Randall and Ollie Watkins have all progressed and gone to bigger and better things following spells with the club.
Bartlett and Laird have also found, coached and sold Cardiff City’s Kieffer Moore, Ipswich Town’s James Norwood, Leeds United’s Jordan Stevens and Oxford United’s Matthew Taylor.
Bartlett added: “I’ve brought players in and sold players before and all too often the first-team managers try to get all the recognition when in reality we are often one of the last cogs in the wheel.
“I won’t let that happen here, everyone at our club has played a big part and are equally responsible for producing and nurturing Ryan.
“People like Mark McKeever, Lairdy and the board should be rightly proud of their involvement.
“This is a good move for him and I’d like to thank Bristol Rovers and Tommy Widdrington for allowing us to continue his development until the end of the season and for the respectful manner in which they conducted negotiations.”
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