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Feature

Season Preview: Forest Green Rovers

22 July 2019

We continue our 2019/20 season preview by featuring Gloucestershire side, Forest Green Rovers -

Nickname : Rovers, Green Army

Stadium : The New Lawn

Capacity : 5,141

Round Trip From The Moss Rose : 267.2 miles

Last Season : 5th

Mark Cooper's men were unlucky not to ascend to the third tier for the first time in their history last season, as they suffered play-off heartbreak at the hands of eventual winners Tranmere Rovers.

The Nailsworth-based side looked to be a sound bet for promotion throughout the last campaign, yet a mixed set of results towards the latter stages would ultimately cost the Green Army a shot at an automatic spot.

Rovers will unquestionably be a force to be reckoned with this time around, yet the will have to fill the boots of striker Christian Doidge who departed earlier in the summer.

If they can do that and retain their consistency over the long haul then there is no reason why their can't be celebrations in Gloucestershire at the end of April.

 

The Gaffer - Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper was appointed Forest Green Rovers Manager in May 2016, becoming the permanent successor to Ady Pennock.

Over a decade earlier, the one time Fulham and Birmingham City midfielder had enjoyed a hugely successful season as a Forest Green player.

He has amassed over ten years of football management experience, having been appointed to his first managerial position whilst still registered as a player at Tamworth.

In three years with The Lambs, Mark gained many plaudits and progressed to become boss at Kettering Town - where another impressive spell in the dugout saw him secure a move to The Championship as the newly appointed Manager of Peterborough United.

The former Silkmen midfielder has since gone onto have spells at AFC Telford United and Darlington - where in 2011 he guided them to FA Trophy Final success at Wembley Stadium.

In 2013, Mark took charge of League One Swindon Town and performed brilliantly on a limited budget to guide the Wiltshire club to the League One Play-Off Final - again at Wembley. He was denied a promotion to the Championship though, as Preston North End ran out winners to seal their return to the second tier.

After leaving Swindon in October 2015 he had a brief spell as boss of League Two Notts County, before moving to Gloucestershire the following May.

During his first full season in charge at Forest Green, Cooper guided them to the Football League for the first time in the club’s history as The Green Devils beat Tranmere Rovers in the Vanarama National League Play-Off Final at Wembley.

The club subsequently enjoyed their first venture into League Two two seasons ago and they maintained their Football League status for a second term, with Cooper been nominated for the Manager of the Month awards in both October and February.

As a player, Cooper began his career at Bristol City and went on to play in the Football League for the likes of Exeter, Southend, Wycombe, Birmingham and Fulham. He also had stints at Huddersfield, Hartlepool, Macclesfield and Rushden & Diamonds in a well-travelled career.

In the 2001-02 season he joined Forest Green and was an instant success, netting eighteen times from midfield during a total of forty-eight appearances - a record which saw Mark win the club's Player of the Season award.

He is the son of former England and Leeds United winger Terry, whilst Mark's son Charlie is also a professional footballer with Forest Green.

 

Transfer Dealings.

Out - Gavin Gunning, Lee Collins, Isaac Pearce, Scott Laird, Jordan Simpson, Tahvon Campbell, Haydn Hollis, Fabien Robert, Reece Brown, Reuben Reid, Paul Digby, Christian Doidge

In - Ebou Adams, Aaron Collins, Adam Smith, James Morton, Liam Kitching, Dom Bernard, Kevin Dawson

 

Our Last Meeting.

Sol Campbell's men travelled to The New Lawn back on 13th April - a matter of days after our epic 3 - 2 midweek victory over Exeter City.

After a closely-contested first period, the home side took the lead on 56 minutes with a Christian Doidge strike and went on to seal the victory with an 88th Joseph Mills free-kick.

 

Our Next Meetings.

Home - Saturday 25th January

Away - Sunday 29th December


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