Felix leaves on loan after signing a professional contract

Young Rovers goalkeeper Felix Goddard has joined Bamber Bridge on a six-month loan.

The 18-year-old, who recently signed a two-year professional contract with the club, will stay with the Northern Premier League side until January.

The teenager’s new Rovers contract includes a 12-month option as the club strengthen their goalkeeping ranks.

Jordan Eastham had the option in his deal this summer, with Goddard joining Joe Hilton and Aidan Dowling as academy options behind first-team duo Thomas Kaminski and Aynsley Pears, with Antonis Stergiakis having left earlier this summer.

Goddard has made 33 appearances for Rovers Under-18s since signing from City on a two-year scholarship in September 2020, and also made his Premier League 2 Under-23s debut.

He is the latest of the promising generation of scholars to sign professional terms with Rovers, and it is an achievement Goddard is proud of.

Speaking about the new contract at Ewood, Goddard said: “It’s a big moment and a day that I’ve dreamed of since I was a young child and I’m delighted to have signed my contract.

“Signing your first professional contract is your first major step, but after that you just have to go for it and keep going and try to get that next contract.

“These two years have been brilliant for me.

“Definitely a change from (Manchester) City, but a change for the better and I feel like I’ve really thrived in the environment here, thanks to all the coaches, all the staff and all my team-mates. ”

Goddard played 20 times for the Under-18s as they finished fifth in the Premier League North Division, as well as all three of their FA Youth Cup matches as they reached the quarter-finals, only to be knocked out by Nottingham Forest at Ewood Park.

The German-born goalkeeper also enjoyed a brief loan spell with Lancaster City in a season in which Goddard felt he had gained valuable experience.

His aim will be to become a regular in Mike Sheron’s Premier League 2 side, with the long-term aim of advancing the first team.

“Last year was a great season for the Under-18s. To compete with Manchester City at the top of the table for so long is a great achievement and for me personally I think I had a good season and I played well,” Goddard said.

“Next year I will be looking to play more games for the Under 23s and also be on loan. I went to Lancaster for two games last season and really enjoyed it. It was a really valuable experience, so hopefully I can have more men’s football under my belt.

Born in Germany to British parents, Goddard grew up in Singapore before joining the City academy aged 13 in 2017. He spent three years with the Premier League champions before moving to Rovers.

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