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ROVERS SIGN YOUNG CHARLTON KEEPER

Posted on: Wed 02 May 2012

Bristol Rovers have signed young Charlton keeper Conor Gough on a two-year deal.

Conor has been with Charlton Athletic since he was 12 but has been released this summer after one year as a professional.

He told bristolrovers.co.uk: "It's going to be a wrench leaving Charlton, but I think change is good. Perhaps I was getting a bit too comfortable there and now I need to get out of my comfort zone and prepare for a new challenge.

"I'm happy that Charlton have been promoted to the Championship but, at the same time, I'm delighted to have signed a contract with Rovers and I hope that this time next year they will be celebrating a promotion."

Whilst the move came about primarily through his agent, he's heard good things about the club from a close friend, former Charlton and Rovers player Harry Pell.

"My agent organised a trial for me with Rovers, so I came down. The gaffer said I did well and I played an in house game and it's gone from there. Harry told me that this was a good club, and I'm excited about the future."

The 18 year old shot stopper already stands at 6' 7" and is looking to challenge for a first team spot.

"I still have a great deal of work to do, but hopefully I'll be pushing Scott Bevan for a first team place next season and get my opportunity. I've already met, and trained, with 'Bev' and goalkeeper coach Carl Emberson and they couldn't have made me feel more welcome."

Whilst there have been no first team appearances during his time at the Valley, he was on the bench on four occasions while a second year scholar and travelled with the first team on a number of occasions.

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There has been no shortage of competitive football in the last two years, though, as he's spent time on loan at four clubs.

"Last season I played games for St Albans, while this season I played 25 games for Salisbury before moving to Eastbourne, and I finished the season with Chelmsford."

Manager Mark McGhee said: "He is a young lad with fantastic stature. He has been playing non-league and has experience at a decent level. He has played like a man, and looks like a man even though he is only a young player.

"We have taken him from Charlton, they have some fantastic young keepers, which is why we have been able to get him, as there are people ahead of him that they rate very highly.

"Our job is to benefit from people's mistakes, and I think is someone who could prove in time that Charlton should have kept him for a little bit longer."

Yesterday Conor made his first appearance in a Rovers shirt, playing in a young reserve side that lost 2-1 at Yeovil.

Having seen a 24th minute Mitch Harding penalty saved by the home keeper, Rovers, watched by manager Mark McGhee and assistant manager Shaun North, fell behind after 35 minutes.

They went close to scoring after the break through Jordan Goddard (twice), Harding and Ellis Harrison before Harrison equalised after 71 minutes, only for the home side to score the winner with seven minutes of the game remaining.

Chairman Nick Higgs said: "We are very pleased to have acquired this new young goalkeeper.

"He came recommended to us, and the coaching staff are very excited about this prospects - he is definitely one to watch.

"I would like to welcome him to the club and I hope he has a successful time with Bristol Rovers."

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