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Young striker joins squad at Bristol Rovers

Rhys Talmash and Alex Hinder

Rhys Talmash and Alex Hinder

AMELKSHAMteenager  and former Town player signed for a Bristol Rovers youth team last month after being awarded a scholarship with the League One side’s academy.

16 year-old Rhys Talmash started the two-year agreement last month; he is now a striker for Bristol Rovers’ u18s squad and is  studying for a sports degree alongside training and playing.

Rhys, a former Melksham Oak student and youth player for Melksham Town, was scouted by the team’s academy.

He told Melksham News, “I’m so pleased to have got the scholarship and I’m really enjoying it so far. Everyone there has been welcoming and it feels good to be playing at a high level again. It’s a lot of hard work, too, which is helping me improve my game.”

When Rhys graduates the academy he could be in a good position to be considered for Rovers’ first team. The current team now play in League One after finishing third in League Two last year and winning promotion.

Rhys has played for youth teams at other big-name clubs including Bristol City, Aston Villa and Southampton, but this is his most promising move yet.

Rhys said, “It’s my dream to be a professional footballer and I think this is definitely a step towards that. It was a huge relief when I found out because things had been a bit quiet  for me and I was worried about what to do next if I didn’t get a place.

“I played the last season at Melksham and I think that really helped me get back on form, so I’m grateful to the club at home.”

Rhys commutes by train to Bristol and back five days a week to train and study, while living at home in Melksham.

Rhys’s dad Lee said, “I’m over the moon. I’m so happy that Rhys’s talent is being recognised and that he’s being rewarded for his hard work.”