Bristol Rovers midfielder joins National League side on loan

Bristol Rovers midfielder Sam Matthews has returned to the National League, joining Eastleigh on loan until the end of the season.

He’s no stranger to the Spitfires, having first joined on loan from AFC Bournemouth in 2016/17, playing 13 matches. He then played 42 games in 2017/18 and impressed by scoring 9 goals and winning a host of Player of the Season awards.

He returned to the Cherries in the summer, joining League One side Bristol Rovers on a permanent deal. He’s since appeared 24 times for the Gas and now returns for a third time.

He’s also appeared in the National League for Braintree Town, scoring twice in 13 matches in 2016/17.

Spitfires manager Ben Strevens said: “It’s great to have a player as popular as Sam back at the club. He already has a good relationship with the players, coaching staff and fans so I’m sure he will be a great addition.

“He has done really well in previous spells at the club. He adds pace and creativity to our already strong attacking side.”

The 22-year-old last appeared for Bristol on January 19th against Wycombe as a late sub.

Our View

Matthews is better than the National League and, if transfers between league clubs were allowed, he’d surely be moving to a top ten League Two side.

He’s got huge potential and his 24 matches for a League One side attests to that. 

This is a big signing for Eastleigh and if he grows in confidence, Graham Coughlan’s side will benefit in the long run.

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