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Former Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest striker joins Forest Green

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Former Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Grimsby Town striker Jon-Paul Pittman has been appointed as Forest Green Rovers’ Professional Development Phase coach.

Qualified as a UEFA A License coach, Pittman joins the club following a spell at Exeter City as a development coach and will take charge of the Under 18s scholars, replacing Jimmy Ball who left Rovers last summer.

Pittman, 35, was born in the United States and grew up on a US Air Force base in the UK playing baseball and basketball. But he fell in love with football when he first tried it aged seven. 

He enjoyed a fourteen-year professional playing career – starting as a schoolboy at Aston Villa and a scholar at Nottingham Forest, followed by most noticeable spells with Crawley Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Oxford United and Grimsby Town, retiring from playing in 2019 .

On becoming part of the team, Pittman told the club website: “I am absolutely buzzing to be here. I’ve had a really good week here and everyone has been really welcoming.

“The coaching journey is more than just holding their hand for a short period of time. This kind of role takes a village, you can’t be held responsible for anyone’s success as a lot of coaches have had an input along the way. We just want to develop people who can go far in life and do well.”

Hannah Dingley, Head of Academy, said: “We are really pleased to have Jon-Paul join the Academy staff. Jon-Paul is a fantastic role model for the players and can share with them his real-life experiences from his playing career.”

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