Forest Green Rovers have agreed a deal with experienced former Premier League centre-back Matt Mills as a player/coach.
Watch his first interview at the club after putting pen to paper where he discusses teaming up with brother Joseph, his experience and what his aims are.
How much was your brother Joseph an influence on you joining Forest Green?
He was definitely an influence on joining. I came and trained with Forest Green at the end of last season and really enjoyed my time.
The manager is absolutely fantastic and that was a big selling point for me and having my brother here as well is nice. I’m going to be able to play with him for the first time and I’m looking forward to it.
I suppose you wouldn’t have played much football together except in the back garden?
Just in the back garden, yeah. We’ve been at similar clubs actually. He was at Southampton, just at a younger age group, he came to Reading after I was there and Doncaster as well.
We’ve played at similar clubs, just never at the same time. Now is the time.
This is the first time you have followed in his footsteps?
He’s led the way on this one. He had a fantastic year last year and finished the season captaining the side. It will be great to link up with him and play next year.
With Joseph being here, you were probably paying attention to Forest Green and looking out for their results anyway?
They’re my follow team on my Sky Sports app. I’ve kept in the loop all season.
I came and watched them for a few games earlier on in the season before I went to India and have trained with them and followed them since I’ve got back and unfortunate not to get promoted this year but next year, hopefully we’ll go one step further.
That’s got to be the aim now hasn’t it?
Yeah, the club has put pressure on itself now to perform and go up. I don’t think the play-offs were overly expected outside of the club last year but the lads did fantastically well and just fell short after a long season. Fingers cross, next year will be the year.
As someone who has played a lot of football in the Championship, you must see the ambition that is here and see that as an important factor?
It is a huge factor. The project that is going on at the football club. I obviously can’t speak highly enough of the manager, his philosophy and how he trains.
Having trained with the teams for three weeks, I got a real insight into what I’m stepping into.
You were playing last out in India with Pune City, how is the adjustment period going to be coming back into the Football League?
I don’t think it is going to be too much. I have played 14 or 15 years at first team level in England, so it will be nothing I’m not used to.
It was a great experience to go to India and experience a different culture and a different environment with the heat and everything but I feel more than comfortable being here.
Having gone to another country, what does that do for your life experience as a person, to make you more equipped to cope with situations?
That was all in my thinking. It was something I’ve always wanted to do. I learnt a lot about myself while I was out there and I learnt a lot about the game and what I can offer in terms of educating younger players.
I really enjoyed that side of it and now I have got the opportunity to come back, try and get a promotion, play with my younger brother and work with a manager I definitely feel like is going places. For me it is the perfect situation to come back to.