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 Grimsby Town:
Big interview: Lloyd James
In a career that spans little over a decade and with more than 300 professional appearances under his belt, there are few situations that midfielder Lloyd James hasn’t been in but that doesn’t mean he has stopped learning.
“You change with experience, you are learning new things every day and new people you are working with, new managers and different ways of playing,” he said as he took a journey back through his career.
“I would say I have always been old school and that player on the training field who thinks that if you give 110 per cent, you’ll get 110 per cent on the pitch.
“I’ve gained valuable experiences from the different places I have been with regards to both on and off the pitch.
“I like to think I can use that now to help the younger players that are coming through.”
It was back as a six-year-old where James’ path into football began as the Bristol-born boy went along to one of Southampton’s satellite academy’s in Bath and ended up staying until he was 22.
As a scholar he would get the train down to the south coast every Tuesday night after school to be there for training on a Wednesday before getting back for school the following day.
But at that age, it didn’t matter, he was doing what he loved and that was all he cared about.
Southampton to this day is responsible for bringing through some of the brightest talent in British football the class of 2005 was no different.
James was in midfield for the FA Youth Cup final against Ipswich Town and he was joined by Theo Walcott, Nathan Dyer and Leon Best while just the small names of Adam Lallana and Gareth Bale graced the bench.
They went on to lose that final 3-2 on aggregate but followed it up by winning the league the following season.
“It was a very talented squad and it helped me a lot because we had such good players and when you are doing well, it’s going to benefit you because you are raising your game to their level,” said James.
“It was a massive boost to me to play with some great players who have gone on to have fantastic careers.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE PROGRAMME.
FGR in the Community
Ambassadors tuck into match day food making
To celebrate Veganuary, FGR Community and FGR’s now famous head chef Jade (after her recent TV appearances) ran an evening’s vegan cooking session for our tremendous club ambassadors and their families. Spicy bean burgers were on the menu and they were a great hit with everyone. Thanks to the FGR’s Supporters’ Club for helping us stage the session.
Ambassador Q&A: Tahvon Campbell
QUESTION 1: What do you think of the vegan diet?
I love it. I’ve really taken to it and I’m vegetarian now myself. I wouldn’t say I am fully vegan but the club has helped me to change my diet and I think it has been effective on the football side of things and helped my game.
QUESTION 2: Do you prefer training with the other players or training alone?
I enjoy training with the team. It is a good atmosphere, the boys are always buzzing and I would rather be part of the team than training by myself.
Academy in focus: Ethan Hill
First-year scholar Ethan Hill joined Forest Green Rovers last year after his four-year spell at Southampton’s Academy came to an end without the offer of a scholar’s contract. Following a trial in Nailsworth, Scott Bartlett and his team proceeded to offer the left-back a place in their Academy.
As an attacking-minded defender, Hill values his ability to both cross and pass the ball but doesn’t desert his defensive responsibilities, stating that he has a strong, physical presence and can perform in a 1v1 situation whether beating a player going forward, or while defending.
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.