Forest Green Rovers have announce that Academy graduate and first year professional Aden Baldwin has completed a move to SkyBet Championship side Bristol City for an undisclosed fee.
The 18-year-old, who has impressed since earning his first professional contract at the start of this season, is now set to link up with City’s under 21s squad at Ashton Gate.
Forest Green Rovers chairman, Dale Vince, said: “We’re very pleased for Aden – this is a great opportunity for him. It’s also a milestone for the club and the Academy under manager Scott Bartlett.
“Our plan is to continue to develop great young players and bring them through the ranks – it’s an essential part of being a truly sustainable football club.
“Our next step will be to develop an under 21 squad, to bridge the gap between our Academy and first team. Unfortunately, we can’t do that until we are promoted to the Football League, but that can’t be very far away now.”
Baldwin has progressed through the FGR Youth and Academy set-up since signing for the club at the age of 15 under the guidance of Head of Youth Scott Bartlett.
He earned a place in Bartlett’s Academy side and spent two years training full time, while also completing his studies at South Gloucestershire & Stroud College.
His impressive performances at youth level saw him feature in a number of pre-season friendlies for the first team squad, and at the end of his spell in the youth team he was offered his first professional contract by Ady Pennock, alongside fellow graduate, Louis McGrory.
The young centre back enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at National League South side Bath City earlier this season, and made his first team debut for FGR in an FA Trophy defeat at Havant & Waterlooville before Christmas.
His progress from the youth set-up at The New Lawn into the first team is an example of the club’s push for sustainability in all areas – from its work off the field to the desire to see young players from the youth and Academy teams’ progress into the first team.
Source: Forest Green Rovers FC