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Former Gillingham and Maidstone United defender Josh Hare has signed for Bristol Rovers

Former Gillingham defender Josh Hare is back in the Football League.

Hare, 24, has signed for Gills’ League 1 rivals Bristol Rovers on a free transfer.

The defender was hindered by injury during his time at the Gills, twice suffering knee ligament damage.

Josh Hare in action for Gillingham versus Yeovil Picture: Barry Goodwin
Josh Hare in action for Gillingham versus Yeovil Picture: Barry Goodwin

He was stretchered off in a friendly match against Tonbridge in July 2015 but managed to resurrect his career in the non-league scene, playing for Eastbourne, Leatherhead, Maidstone United and more recently Eastleigh.

His progress hasn’t gone unnoticed and Bristol Rovers have handed him a chance to show what he can do on the bigger stage.

Canterbury-born Hare played 45 games last season for Eastleigh and will now get the chance to face the Gills - where he progressed as a youth player to the pro ranks - next season.

Rovers boss Graham Coughlan said: "Josh has made real progress over the last three years in his development and climbing up the football pyramid.

"He had a great season with Eastleigh, reaching the play-off semi-finals and being named in the National League Team of the Year.

"We are confident he is ready to take the step into the Football League and we are sure he will add healthy competition to the squad."

Hare is the son of Gills’ former coach Darren Hare and nephew of Andy Hessenthaler. He made two league appearances for the Gills during his time at the club, both during the 2014/15 season.

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