The rise of Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green have excelled in this season’s Sky Bet League Two. Following a draw with Bristol Rovers, they secured promotion to the third tier, the highest division the club have ever been in.

Forest Green are also running sustainably with the Gloucestershire based side labelled as the ‘world’s greenest football club,’ but what has caused their recent upward trajectory and what could the future hold for the club?

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In their first season in the fourth tier, Rovers finished in the lower echelons of the league table but did not endure a return to the National League. Since then, they have been climbing the table each season with two of the past three campaigns, Forest Green have finished in the play-off positions but have failed to progress from there.

This season though has been a different story. Under former Wolves U23 and England U16 manager Rob Edwards, Forest Green have maintained their position near the top of the table and for a long time now, it seemed they would earn themselves promotion. Rovers have implemented an attractive style of play, with pressing being a key attribute of Edwards’ side, often playing with a three at the back formation.

With such a brilliant season though, many clubs are looking at Forest Green players following a brilliant campaign for their side. Midfield maestro Ebou Adams has been attracting interest from the Championship with both Blackpool and Cardiff City interested in his services, according to Gloucestershire Live. Not to forget League Two’s Player of the Season Kane Wilson who is wanted by Nottingham Forest as a replacement for Djed Spence, as per Nottingham Forest News. With Forest Green potentially losing their star players in the summer, they could find it hard to find replacements for them as they are players who are of a very high calibre.

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The club are also looking into the future with plans to build a new 5000-seater stadium which will also hold office and industrial space, all using zero carbon. Alongside this, a training facility for all of the teams at Forest Green will be located near the newly named Eco Park. Also, a biodiversity net of 12%, according to Forest Green Rovers, will improve the habitat around the stadium. All of this potential building work is subject to planning approval but if this was to come to fruition, it could be an incredible spectacle.

In fact, in their 0-0 stalemate with Bristol Rovers, they took another step towards sustainability in football in terms of transport. They took an electric coach to the game which was a world-first and this could cause clubs to follow suit in the future. As the climate is slowly becoming worse, could clubs use more eco-friendly solutions to their problems?

At Forest Green’s current stadium, The Fully Charged New Lawn, all of the food sold is vegan. This has caused many problems, especially among away fans, who do not want to eat the food that is sold in the stadium due to they do not find it pleasant to eat. Even kits from past campaigns have been made of wasted coffee grounds and recycled plastic to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Do you agree with the recent work of Forest Green Rovers and do you think that other football clubs should take after Rovers with their aim to be more sustainable?

The Author

Jack Patmore

Billericay Town Media Assistant | Work for The Non-League Paper, VAVEL, Phoenix FM & others | Part of The Football Writers Association | BBC Young Reporter Winner 2023

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