|Full name Robert James Sinclair|
Current team Forest Green Rovers
|Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
Place of birth Bedford, England
Name Rob Sinclair
|Date of birth (1989-08-29) 29 August 1989 (age 26)|
Robert James "Rob" Sinclair (born 29 August 1989) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Forest Green Rovers.
Sinclair started his career at Luton Town, and played regularly for the club's Under–18 side and reserve team. He was loaned out to Conference Premier side Salisbury City until the end of the 2007–08 season. On return to his parent club in May 2008, Sinclair was released by Luton, and joined Salisbury permanently a week after his release. Injury disrupted his time at the club, playing 54 games during his two and a half-year tenure at the club. He was told to find a new club when Salisbury were relegated two divisions after a breach of Conference rules on unpaid debts, and he subsequently joined Stevenage on a free transfer in June 2010. He helped Stevenage earn promotion to League One in his first season with the club. Following a brief loan spell at Aldershot Town in March 2012, Sinclair left Stevenage in June 2012, only to rejoin the club three months later. He was loaned out once again to Aldershot in November 2012. In January 2013, Sinclair left Stevenage by mutual consent, and signed for Salisbury City, his second spell at the club. He left Salisbury in the summer of 2014 and in June 2014 joined Forest Green Rovers.
Sinclair began his career as a trainee with Luton Town, and was a regular in the club's Under–18 team and reserve side, where he played as a right winger. He progressed through the youth system at Luton, and signed a one-year professional contract with the club in July 2007. On signing the deal, Sinclair said "I've been at Luton since I was eight so you can say it's something of a dream. The club have been great and really helped bring my game on". However, despite appearing in two of the club's pre-season friendlies, Sinclair failed to make the breakthrough into the first–team during the 2007–08 season, and was subsequently loaned out to Conference Premier side Salisbury City in January 2008. He made his debut for Salisbury in the club's 1–0 win against Northwich Victoria, playing the whole match. Sinclair also provided the assist for Liam Feeney's goal in Salisbury's 3–1 home victory against Droylsden. He scored his first professional goal in a 3–2 defeat at Woking, scoring from close-range to restore parity in the first–half. In total, Sinclair played 16 times for Salisbury during the latter stages of the club's 2007–08 campaign, scoring once. On his three-month loan spell, Sinclair said "It's been very enjoyable. It's worked out very well for me, first–team football has helped me massively. It's about the physical side mainly".
When he returned to his parent club, he was told by manager Mick Harford that he was surplus to requirements at the club, and was subsequently released when his contract expired in May 2008. Just a week after being released, Sinclair joined Salisbury on a permanent basis on a two-year contract. Sinclair missed the start of the 2008–09 season because of a knee injury, which he suffered in Salisbury's pre–season friendly against Port Vale. The injury ultimately ruled him out of first–team action for two months, and he returned to the starting eleven in October 2008, playing 64 minutes in Salisbury's 2–0 loss at Stevenage. In the following game, Sinclair provided the cross for Sean Clohessy to score Salisbury's second in the side's 2–0 win against Crawley Town. In Salisbury's 4–0 loss at Cambridge United, Sinclair suffered a recurrence of the knee injury he sustained at the start of the season, and did not feature again for the club until February 2009 – coming on a substitute in Salisbury's 1–1 draw at Wrexham, assisting Charles Ademeno's equaliser. Sinclair's only goal of the 2008–09 season came on the final day of the season, scoring Salisbury's first goal in a 2–2 draw against Ebbsfleet United, scoring from long-range. In an injury filled season, Sinclair played a total of 15 times in all competitions, scoring one goal. He started in the club's 2–0 win against Rushden & Diamonds at Nene Park on the first day of the 2009–10 season. The following game, he set up Daniel Webb for the only goal of the game in a 1–0 win against Kidderminster Harriers, as well as providing assists in victories against both Hayes & Yeading and Grays Athletic respectively. He also played in Salisbury's 1–1 home draw against his former club, Luton Town. He made two assists in Salisbury's 3–0 home win against Histon, and also provided the cross for Patrick Cox to divert home. However, he was stretchered off in the 30th minute in the club's 1–1 draw against Wrexham in February 2010, and subsequently did not play again for the rest of the season. He made 29 appearances for Salisbury during the season, but was told to find a new club when Salisbury were relegated two divisions after a breach of Conference rules on unpaid debts.
In June 2010, Sinclair signed for League Two side Stevenage. On joining Stevenage, Sinclair said "signing for Stevenage just came out of the blue. With all the trouble Salisbury were in we did not know what league we were going to be in next season and as such the club couldn't offer contracts". He was assigned the number 23 shirt ahead of the 2010–11 season. Sinclair made his Stevenage debut in the club's first ever Football League fixture, a 2–2 draw against Macclesfield Town, coming on as a substitute in the 71st minute and assisting Charlie Griffin's 89th-minute equaliser. He subsequently started in the club's next game just two days later, playing 75 minutes in the side's 2–1 loss to Portsmouth. Sinclair provided assists in home victories against Barnet and Rotherham United respectively, as well as playing a through ball for John Mousinho to score the only goal of the game against Wycombe Wanderers. Three days later, Sinclair deftly played in Stevenage striker Craig Reid, who finished neatly to earn Stevenage a 2–1 win at Oxford United. He missed Stevenage's win against Lincoln City due to injury, but returned as a 64th-minute substitute in the club's 2–0 win at Burton Albion. In the following game, on 26 March 2011, Sinclair scored his first goals for the club, netting twice in Stevenage's comprehensive 4–0 win over Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose. He suffered a groin injury in training the week after Stevenage's 3–3 draw with Bury, resulting in him missing Stevenage's successful play-off campaign. Sinclair played 31 games for Stevenage in his first season with the club, scoring two goals.
The injury ultimately ruled Sinclair out of the first half of the 2011–12 season. Sinclair revealed that there had been a number of complications with the injury, with his "tendon coming away from the bone by two centimetres", as well as the doctor refusing to give him injections as a result of the tendon movement. Having made no first-team appearances for Stevenage as a result of the injury, Sinclair joined League Two side Aldershot Town on a one-month loan deal on 13 March 2012, to gain match fitness. He made his debut for Aldershot later that day, coming on as an 85th-minute substitute in a 2–2 away draw with Crawley Town. Sinclair made four appearances during his loan spell at Aldershot, three of which as a substitute. He returned to Stevenage on 9 April 2012, but ultimately made no appearances for the club during the campaign.
In June 2012, Sinclair left Stevenage despite being offered a one-year contract extension, stating he wanted to play first-team football and no longer wished to be "a bit-part player". However, three months later, in early September, he rejoined the club on a one-year deal. Having made no appearances for Stevenage during the opening months of the 2012–13 season, Sinclair joined Aldershot Town for a second loan spell in November 2012, joining on a one-month loan agreement, which was later extended for a further month. He returned to Stevenage, but failed to make any first-team appearances.
Sinclair rejoined Conference South side Salisbury City on 31 January 2013. He signed for Salisbury on a free transfer after leaving Stevenage by mutual consent. He made a goalscoring debut for the club, coming on as a 57th-minute substitute and scoring Salisbury's second goal in an eventual 3–1 home victory over Bromley on 2 February 2013. Signing for Salisbury meant that he would be playing with his brother Stuart professionally for the first time, as before this they had only ever played together in youth sides. Stuart had already been playing for Salisbury for a year. This led to some great chemistry on the pitch between the two, and made for some very attractive football. He featured regularly in the first team for Salisbury for the second half of the 2012–13 season. He signed a new contract ahead of the 2013–14 season, as did his brother Stuart, meaning they would still both be playing together professionally for a further season.
Forest Green Rovers
In June 2014, Sinclair joined Forest Green Rovers, signing a two-year contract with the club. He made his debut for the club on 9 August 2014 on the opening day of the 2014–15 Conference National season in a 1–0 away win at Southport. He scored his first goal in a 2–1 defeat at The New Lawn on 27 September 2014 against Barnet. On 31 October 2014, it was announced that he had been named the Conference National Player of the Month for October.
At the end of the 2014–15 season he helped the club to the Conference National play-offs for the first time, playing in both semi-final matches against Bristol Rovers who won the tie 3–0 on aggregate. He again helped Forest Green reach the play-offs in the 2015-16 season, but missed out on the chance to play at Wembley Stadium in the club's National League play-off final defeat to Grimsby Town due to injury.
On 1 June 2016, he agreed a new two-year contract to remain at Forest Green until the summer of 2018.
Sinclair was born and raised in Bedford. His brother, Stuart Sinclair, played football for Luton Town and Salisbury City, and plays for Bristol Rovers F.C.