On The Flip Side – Forest Green Rovers

By The MKDSA Media Team

Franco caught up with Ian Crawley, FGR Supporter. Ian is the chair of the FGR Supporters Association.

Q1. Tell us about you and your history as a FGR supporter please.

Moved to the area in 2003 whilst a Spurs Season Ticket holder. Discovered there was a non-league club in walking distance, so started going. Joined the Supporters Club and the separate Supporters Society, set up to purchase and own shares. New owner invited the two to merge. I chaired the merger meetings and now chair the Suppprters Club, which legally remains a Supporters Society. Have enjoyed the journey from non-league through League Two to league One and visited many interesting places and grounds. One week I was at the MK Dons Stadium watching Spurs and a few days later FGR.  

Q2. Are you happy with what you have seen so far under your newish manager? 

Tough first EFL manager’s job for Ian Burchnall. We lost two of the League Two winning team to Championship Clubs, including the League Two Player of the Year; two to League One clubs; and the two top scorers to injury for the first five months of the new season. Everyone was also thrown by the manager, Rob Edwards leaving after one season. Some of the new players for this season were brought in by the former Director of Football, who has also left recently.  Finally, it was a few months into the new season before the manager was able to bring together his full coaching team.

Q3. Which players do you expect to cause problems for the Dons in the return?    

Second top scorer last season, Matty Stevens is back in the team and gaining match fitness. A former boxer, he is fast and combative. The midfield duo of Hendry and Stevenson work well together and have a good eye for the through ball between the centre backs. Corey O’Keefe and Kyle McAllister are excellent crossers of the ball.

Q4. Are you happy with FGR transfer activity in the last 2 and a bit weeks and which signings have impressed you the most so far?  

Excellent recent additions, following the appointment of the new chief analyst/scout, include Dylan McGeough in midfield, who has played for Scotland and Brandon Cooper in defence, who is the leader on the field we have needed all season. Ross Doohan looks a confident safe pair of hands in goal and around the penalty box, whilst Jamie Robson completes an almost new back five.

Q5. What style of play can we expect to see from FGR at home, will it change from your StadiumMK set up and style?  

The new FGR, based on the recent signings, are strong at the back and keen in attack; able to move from three to four and back to three at the back as necessary. The team is now much more likely to score the first goal, then let it in.

Q6 If you could have just one more player in the transfer window, who would it be?

A proven striker, who is not already on the downhill slide.  Jamille Matt did a great job for us in League Two.  

Q7. Connor Wickham, was his brief stay worth it, what was your highlight and did you want him to stay ?  

Too much of an enigma. Looked tired form the first whistle, appeared unwilling to jump and run about. But was in the right place to score including on his debut as a substitute away at Lincoln to secure the draw. Will go down in FGR and F A Cup history for his goal from the halfway line away at South Shields. Will probably be the F A Cup goal of the season.    

Q8. Which Forest Green game are you most looking forward to in the run ? 

Ipswich away. Great stadium and passionate crowd, who long to be back at the top of the EFL or even in the Premier. They are the best footballing team we have seen at The New Lawn this season.  

Q9. Can you see MK Dons staying up season or if its simpler who is going down from the division? 

Could be between us for who avoids relegation.

Q10. Finally, what do you think the score will be?   

1-0 or 2-1 to FGR, because we need the points and must start winning, especially at home.  

Thank you Ian, appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions.

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