Meeting the opposition – Forest Green Rovers F.C
This upcoming Saturday afternoon, Keith Hill’s Tranmere Rovers will travel to Gloucestershire to face an outfit who they may come up against in the nearby playoffs, Forest Green. This League Two encounter will pose many questions as both sides are steeped in quality at this level, even though they have both struggled somewhat in recent times. There is also a niche rivalry, stemming from playoff games and the Green’s former gaffer in Mark Cooper, that is set to be rekindled.
I spoke to @FGR_Alfie who gave his thoughts on the hosts’ on and off field positions, the upcoming league meeting and his personal experiences as a fan of the club titled the ‘greenest football club’ amongst other subjects.
How long have you been a FGR supporter?
I’ve been a Forest Green supporter for around 6 years.
Highest and lowest points across that time?
The promotion from the National League certainly has to be one of the highs of my time supporting FGR. As for lows, maybe falling out of the playoffs to Tranmere or winning 3 in 22 last season.
Random fact about The Green?
Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin is an investor into the club.
What were your expectations going into the season and what are they now the campaign’s coming to an end?
I had imagined this season we would finish high in the mid table, towards the playoffs and my prediction is near enough right now the season is coming to a close.
After five years at the club Mark Cooper was sacked in mid-April, he had taken the club to the Football League from the Vanarama National League before guiding them up to be a promotion chasing League Two side. What are your thoughts on Cooper’s departure and what are your thoughts on the current interim gaffers? Who would you like to see appointed in the hot-seat next?
I can agree with the sacking of Mark Cooper on the basis that he had lost the backing of the fans a while ago and he certainly wasn’t the man to take us up. I’ve been fairly proud of what Jimmy Ball has done over his short tenure at the club. The ideal signing for the next manager would be Richie Wellens.
Dale Vince is chairman of Forest Green and has been since 2010, what are your thoughts on him?
I don’t mind Dale vince, albeit some of his views are certainly interesting. It’s good to see the club breaking some new ground.
Your danger men?
Jamille Matt, if he wasn’t injured, Ebou Adams and Odin Bailey.
The last time Rovers played against The Green Devils, was in late January at Prenton Park and the League Two encounter resulted in a 3-2 victory for the hosts. What were your thoughts on that game?
I didn’t think we particularly played that well last time out at Prenton Park. There was certainly room for improvement.
How do you see the upcoming encounter panning out? (Score prediction etc) and why, if you do, do you think this game will pose more questions than the previous meeting?
I think we’ll win this one 1-0 because we are desperate to win to keep ourselves in the playoffs.
What eleven do you think will be selected for the hosts this time round?
Luke Mcgee, Udoka Godwin-Malife, Chris Stokes, Baily Cargill, Kane Wilson, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Dom Bernard, Odin Bailey, Scott Wagstaff, Jake Young, Ebou Adams.
Thoughts on Tranmere? The club in general.
I personally think that Tranmere are a decent club. Some fans might disagree with that, given the past history of both clubs, but you’re a fairly well run club.
What are your thoughts on Forest Green’s January transfer business? More often than not, this plays a vital part in whether the club is successful in achieving their late found ambitions.
I think the January transfer window was okay, but I do think we could’ve done with another proven striker due to the fact that Matt got injured.
Two men that may come up against their former side this weekend are full-back Kane Wilson and forward Aaron Collins. The young defender made just upwards of ten appearances after making a loan move to Merseyside from West Brom, the latter made a couple of National League appearances for Micky Mellon’s Whites. What are your thoughts on them both?
Kane Wilson is a proper good quality right back that I rate really highly, didn’t start off too well and picked up a couple of injuries but has come good. Collins, I thought was decent but missed some really really easy chances. For example, he missed an open goal against Crawley Town away (‘Yesterday afternoon’, at the time of writing).
21-year-old full-back Kane Wilson during his time at Tranmere. In the above picture, he’s playing against Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup at Prenton Park. The youngster, a product of West Brom’s academy system has seen past a tricky start which was hampered with injuries to now ‘come good’.