By Chris Latham
Last season Forest Green Women finished fifth in the South West Regional Women’s Football Premier Division in their first season back at the level. It continued a trend of year-on-year improvement under then- manager Chris Hicks.
Over the summer Neil Moore was appointed new head coach at FGR Women, bringing in a wealth of experience in the game, whilst shrewdly retaining coaching staff from last season, providing a sense of continuity.
In the squad, there is also a sense of good balance between the players of previous seasons and new faces at the club. Last seasons stand out players such as Morris, Jones, Fensome and Rowlands are joined by the likes of Mortimer, Yarwood and Lynch, providing competition for places and much
needed squad depth for a team looking to progress again this season.
FGR Women arguably couldn’t have been handed a tougher start to the season having to face Liskeard and Bristol Rovers in back-to-back away fixtures. In both matches, FGR Women have shown great character and good quality earning a 4-4 draw and 2-1 win.
It is still early days, with the team learning to adapt to a new manager and new teammates and watching on it feels like there is even more to come from the squad.
Club Chairman David Hennessey has worked tirelessly for FGR Women during his time in the role and there is a sense that off the field the club are also moving forward.
The side have moved from Chalford to Hartpury where the playing surface should allow FGR to play their well-respected brand of football on a more consistent basis.
FGR Academy Head Hannah Dingley has also played a role as FGR announced a new Emerging Talent Centre for girls as well as introducing an FGR U16 Girls side, providing arguably the best pathway to the first team in the club’s history.
Joining the ever-growing number of fans present for Sunday’s 2-1 derby win over Bristol Rovers in Lockleaze were a number of players who weren’t in the matchday squad and after the game players stopped to pose for pictures and talk to fans.
There is a sense of something quite special in the air at FGR Women – a togetherness and positivity between the team and supporters that often
accompanies success and with a squad that boasts a tremendous amount of talent and potential, that success might not be too far away.
FGR Women play home fixtures at Hartpury on Sundays, 2pm.