It’s another game at The New Lawn and that means another in our new series of matchday programmes.
Here is a look inside this weeks’ edition for our match with Bury:
Big interview: Paul Digby
The fine margins between success and failure in football are so minuscule that often the fate of a player, a manager or a club can often come down to something out of their control.
The bounce of the ball going your way, a decision landing on your side, the mood of one individual favouring you over someone else.
All Paul Digby can remember from his youth was playing football with his friends on the field out the back of his house in Sheffield.
Not coming from a footballing family, he didn’t fall into either the Wednesday or Blades camp but it didn’t stop him having the same dream as those his age filling the terraces of Bramall Lane or Hillsborough - he wanted to be a professional footballer.
Along with his friends, Digby joined his local side Crosspool Juniors and helped them to climb from the C Division to the A division with relative ease; it was a talented group.
Digby and his teammates were informed by their manager that scouts would now be paying attention to them and this is where factors beyond his control started to shape his future.
Nobody told him on the day he scored a hat-trick that the scout from Barnsley was watching on from the sidelines, but that was the case and it would spark his path to the professional ranks.
He wasn’t the only one, his friends in the team were also spotted and went to Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.
While Digby’s personality played a big part in how his fledgling career played out, he also watched on as others around him didn’t experience the same luck as he did.
“It was tough as well, really tough because you see players getting released, players that you think are good players but it just drives you on,” he said.
“I was so driven at an early age, I just wanted to make it so badly and just be a professional footballer, it was all I really thought about.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE PROGRAMME.
FGR in the Community
Players do their bit to help out at Christmas
Before Christmas Nathan McGinley, James Montgomery, Reece Brown and Tahvon Campbell visited the Stroud District Foodbank as part of FGR Community’s now annual trip. The lads spent a few hours packing up supplies with Sue who manages the foodbank, before heading out to the local centres around the Stroud District.
Ambassador Q&A: George Williams
QUESTION 1: What’s the most number of goals you have scored in a season?
Professionally? This one. My career has been a bit stop and start, so I haven’t had a good run of games. This is my first injury free season, I’m on seven now and hopefully I can double that by the end of the season.
QUESTION 2: Who in the squad do you spend time with away from football?
Now that we are in winter, it is a bit hard because Joseph Mills is the only one who lives close to me. There are a few of us who like to play golf, Dayle Grubb, James Lloyd and Isaac Pearce, so in the summer we usually catch up for a few rounds of golf.
Academy in focus: Rendijs Kalnins
Having joined the first team for their pre-season training camp in Devon, defender Rendijs Kalnins, a second-year scholar, will be more aware than most of what is required to compete at a professional level.
Like almost any aspiring footballer, Kalnins started learning his trade at Sunday-league level, but Kalnins was quickly picked up by the Bristol Inner City Academy where he spent two years. Following his time there, the young defender was picked up by Newport County but, when a scholar’s contract wasn’t put on the table by the Welsh side, Kalnins made the switch to Forest Green Rovers.Despite admitting that he is not the quickest player, those who saw him during pre-season will know that Kalnins demonstrates several physical attributes and that he can fulfil a number of roles across the back four.
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.