It might not be setting the world on fire – yet – but Forest Green Rovers is certainly a team to watch after being promoted to the Football League courtesy of a 3-1 win against Tranmere in the National League 2016/17 Play-Off Final at Wembley.
Whether you are looking for an up-and-coming team to support or simply some answers to pub quiz questions, here are some neat facts about Forest Green Rovers for you.
A big team in a small town
With its home ground in the Gloucestershire town of Nailsworth, Forest Green Rovers comes from the smallest town of any in the league, with a population of 5,800 as of 2011. Its current ground, The New Lawn, has enough capacity for almost the entire town – 5,140, with 2,000 seated.
Football management with an IT twist
Forest Green’s main sponsor, Ecotricity, is not only contributing money but also a data and analytics-focused mindset from its highly technical business.
Baseball teams have long taken a statistics and analytics-focused approach, often referred to as ‘moneyball’; now, Forest Green is bringing this mindset to football, using high-tech analytics to drive its player acquisitions.
Eco-friendly lifestyles – and not just for the players
In addition to the statistics, Forest Green bases its player recruitment on having a ‘green’ lifestyle, including preferring vegan players.
It does not end there – Forest Green also promotes an eco-friendly lifestyle for its fans; for example, it made the decision not to serve any meat at its ground.
Despite the name, the kit is not Forest Green
If you look for football team kits from a supplier such as https://www.kitking.co.uk/, you will probably not find a snow cone green, jazzercise green or even bright lime kit; however, looking at the colour of both the kit and badge, any of these would be closer to the truth than Forest Green.
Taking the ‘green’ name seriously
Beyond the player and fan lifestyles, Forest Green Rovers really is going green. In 2012, it grew its pitch entirely organically using Scottish seaweed; furthermore, Forest Green plans a new £100m pitch billed as an environmentally-friendly eco park.