We're back at home tomorrow and that means another opportunity to get your hands on one of our cracking programmes.
Here is a look inside this weeks’ edition for our match with Macclesfield:
Big interview: Udoka Godwin-Malife
Many won’t know it but Forest Green Rovers fans owe Udoka Godwin-Malife’s neighbour Gary a great deal for being able to watch his career bloom at The New Lawn.
It was at the age of 14 that the talented defender decided that football wasn’t for him and he stepped away from the sport that so many of his peers were clambering to be part of, lured in by the distant goal of maybe making it to be a professional one day.
Dokes, as he is affectionately known, just didn’t have that same passion for the beautiful game.
“I quit football because I had had enough and I didn’t have the hunger for it any more. I didn’t see it as an aspiration for me,” he explained, having just played as a hobby for his local side Littlemore.
“At that age, I used to hear people talking and saying that I wasn’t good enough.
“I never had the drive for it.
“I didn’t have a proper father figure to push me and take me to football, it was always my mum doing it and while she did a lot for me, and still does, I wasn’t the only child with two younger sisters and it was hard for her.
“I just felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. Especially when it got to the point that I had to start doing things for myself, taking myself to football, getting up early and I didn’t have the desire to do that.”
However, it was at that time that Gary stepped in, seeing the potential in the teenager and convincing him to get back into Sunday League football.
“I just thought at that time that I would try and see how far I could go with it,” he discussed.
“I knew I would enjoy it to a certain extent because my friends were doing it, so as much as I tried to take it seriously, I was having a lot of fun with it as well.
“I knew that I had a chance, even if it was just part-time money out of football, I had an opportunity and it was up to me and how serious I was going to be about the whole situation.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE PROGRAMME.
Getting to know: Macclesfield Town
The Silkmen’s late winner against play-off hopefuls Exeter City on Tuesday night sent their small but passionate fanbase into ecstasy and out of the bottom two for the first time since what seemed a lifetime ago. Although slightly fortunate to be on level terms at half time, a superb second half performance enhanced by a thrilling winner. breathed new life into their efforts to secure another season in the elite 92 clubs of English football. The Silkmen are now two points clear of relegation rivals Notts County and Yeovil Town with five games to go.
Sol Campbell has proved a somewhat enigmatic character since his arrival at Moss Rose, but the sheer delight that was shown in the pictures after our winning goal on Tuesday evening clearly demonstrated Sol’s commitment to the Silkmen’s cause, which was refreshing to witness. The Silkmen’s visit to The New Lawn today will provide a very stern test against play-off chasing Rovers where Macclesfield have not exactly enjoyed the best of times; the exception being that FA Cup replay win back in 2001 and the dramatic late winner in the 93rd minute by Paul Lewis in 2013.
Even a point against Rovers today would be viewed as a huge stride towards safety. Subsequent games against teams with little to play for, including home games against Newport County and Cambridge United at Moss Rose on their last game of the season and away fixtures against the Cobblers of Northampton Town and the Valliant’s of Port Vale in their penultimate game of the season provides hope that they could indeed escape the drop to non-league obscurity from which even the most optimistic of the Silkmen faithful would expect them ever to escape from once again.
Ambassador Q&A: Lewis Ward
QUESTION 1: Which player did you like growing up?
I enjoyed watching the Reading goalies while growing up. I had a season ticket and would go early to the game and watch them warm up. Marcus Hahnemann and Adam Federici were the first two goalies I really admired growing up. Hahnemann’s presence and Federici’s distribution were great to watch and learn from.
QUESTION 2: How strong do you think the team is?
The group we have here at FGR is a good, strong group - lots of character and talent. When the group’s talent is lacking, we have shown a lot of character over recent weeks to grind out results.
How to get your programme:
Official Forest Green Rovers programmes will be available for sale at £3 from our volunteer sellers around The New Lawn.
It can be purchased at the ground on matchdays and online via the Forest Green Rovers club shop HERE or at ProgrammeMaster HERE, with pre-orders accepted in advance. Subscriptions for the season are being taken now.