This season, we’ve given our academy scholars the chance to draw back the curtain on their time in the Forest Green Rovers youth set-up.
This week, Luke Hallett is in the spotlight…
I’m enjoying my first season at Forest Green, and feels like I’ve given myself a fresh start.
I wasn’t having the best time personally at Southampton, so I decided to have a look at which other clubs were available.
Forest Green really shone to me as a team that were moving forward, so I left Southampton at the start of the U16 season.
I spoke to my manager at Southampton, and he said he’d let me go out on trial. After a trial game with FGR, I was lucky enough to get called back the next day, and the day after that, and then they made the decision to offer me a scholarship.
It was quite tough to play two games in two days during that trial period, especially during pre-season, though at the time I felt really fresh after a short spell away from football.
I wanted the experience of living away from home, looking after myself and staying with my teammates twenty-four seven.
I’m really enjoying living with the lads. They’re a great bunch of people to have around and they quickly become your mates rather than teammates.
It’s not just my teammates who have made my transition easy. The style of play is similar too, and FGR and Southampton both like to keep the ball on the ground and play through the thirds.
My role as a striker hasn’t changed too much between the two clubs, and I’m still used as an outlet to play off and I’ve grabbed myself some goals in recent weeks.
There’s no better feeling than scoring, especially in a tight game, and you always want to make an impact whether you’re starting or stepping off the bench.