The season gets under way tomorrow at The New Lawn and that means a return of the ‘We Are FGR’ matchday programme, which has undergone an exciting makeover during the close season.
Still priced at just £3, the programme offers some new features like the chance to pose questions to CEO Henry Staelens, a new-look big interview and find out who the FGR players would pick in their dream seven-a-side teams based on players they have played with or against.
Here is a look inside the first edition for our match with Oldham Athletic:
Big interview: Shawn McCoulsky
Six months at Forest Green Rovers following your January arrival, how have you settled in at the club?
“I have settled in very well. Even from the first day, I have felt very comfortable and the boys were very welcoming from the day I joined and it wasn’t a tough task.
“I have been here for six months and it has been good. The journey so far has been a good one and we just missed out on promotion last year, but it was a good campaign to be around.
“I am enjoying it and I’m ready for the new season with a good pre-season under my belt.”
The three months at the end of last season after joining, were there any frustrations or were you happy with the role you were playing in the squad?
“As a footballer, there is a bit of frustration when you are not playing because all you want to do is play and I always want to play.
“I had to be patient and take my chances when they came and I knew the circumstances I was in with Christian Doidge coming back and the side being in the play-offs, I had to sit back, work hard and take my chance when it came.
“Any opportunity I could take to impress the manager, like those Central League games, I would take.
“Although I knew they were reserve games and games to get our fitness up, I took them very seriously because I knew the manager was always watching and they were my time to shine because I was starting those games.
“I got my goals in those games and I did get my chances because of that.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE PROGRAMME.
What’s funny is that when I joined as Chief Executive in October 2018, people were always telling me that the summer months are when the real work is done – I didn’t believe them, thinking it would be a good time for some vacation. How wrong I was. It’s been non-stop but, most importantly, we have got a lot of stuff done behind-the-scenes.
A few things that spring to mind: we improved our academy ten-fold by restructuring and bringing in Hannah Dingley as head of academy, rebranded the North Stand (Community Stand) with a number of local, community-conscious partners, launched streaming to enable both our domestic and international fans even greater access to our matches, sold record-levels of home, away and third kits across the globe, brought over 15 food partners onboard to further enhance the amazing choice in both the outlets and hospitality areas, collaborated with a number of exciting new partners to produce FGR-inspired retail products, such as Faith in Nature which you’ll find in our bathrooms using grass cut from The New Lawn, started to form ‘official’ relationships with over 25 international fan clubs, brought the FGR Ladies team much closer to the club and much more.
Anyway, this season, rather than write about topics that I think are important, I am going to use this page to answer your questions – anything related to FGR – so, send them into firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject as ‘FGR CEO Question Board’ and I’ll answer as many as possible each home game.
Let’s get behind the team for another fantastic season.
ACADEMY SPOTLIGHT – Dan Jones
The first season for me with Forest Green Rovers was definitely a massive learning curve.
With the experience I got with the first team, you quickly learn a lot.
Winning Merit League Two with the Under 18s was a great way to end the season but the main thing I took away from my first season was to not get too high with the highs and not get too low with the lows.
Finding out what being a full-time footballer takes was a big shock. I didn’t expect it to be so hard both physically and mentally, coming in every day and working as hard as you can.
The summer has been good and when I came back in, I found out I was going to the training camp with the first team in Devon and that was a shock.
It was a massive learning curve and I just tried to make the most of it and all the first team players were really nice and it was a good time away.
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.