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02-07-2012 13:50
New Fixtures, New Players, New Kit

Forest Green Rovers` formidable new strike-force will face Cambridge United at The New Lawn on the opening day of the 2012/13 Blue Square Bet Premier campaign.

The first home game on Saturday, 11th August will be followed by two away games at AFC Telford United and Gateshead.

As the new season’s fixtures were announced, Forest Green unveiled their new green and black home strip today, while on away trips Rovers will play in an all-white kit.

With Reece Styche back to full fitness, James Norwood capable of playing up front, Matt Taylor coming off a good first season at The New Lawn and now Magno Vieira, Phil Marsh, Ben Wright and Omar Koroma on the books, manager David Hockaday said the battle for starting berths within Rovers forward line certainly placed a premium on players literally hitting the ground running in pre-season.

“I’ve certainly noticed the amount of fitness work that players have been doing in their own time in the offseason because they know there will be strong competition for places this year,” Hockaday said. “As a group they are probably the fittest and keenest I’ve seen, so they are creating their own culture here.

“They’re pushing each other already and that can only mean good things for the season ahead.”

While Hockaday has taken keen interest in the 2012/13 fixtures released today, he said his primary focus was on the swarm of pre-season games that Rovers faced in the coming weeks – particularly some of those big tickets games against League opposition – Wycombe Wanderers, Swindon Town and Cardiff City.

"Cambridge are a good side, it will be a tough start to the season because they finished above us last season and they've added more quality to their squad. So it's about getting off to a good start, building up confidence at the beginning of the season and getting our new players to gel.

“So facing top league opposition like Wycombe, Swindon and Cardiff in the next few weeks will stand us in good stead for the opening league games which are always tough no matter who we are playing.”

Forest Green chairman Dale Vince said the two new playing strips symbolise a club that's able to look backwards at its heritage, as well as forwards to a bright future.

"With our all-white away kit we are looking back and resurrecting a strip that the club last played in over 100 years ago; which shows we are proud of our heritage.

"While the green and black home kit shows we are also looking to the future, with a new main sponsor, bold new colours and our first serious challenge for promotion."

The white away kit will feature the dates '1899 - 2012' near the neckline to indicate the years between when the club first played in an all-white kit and today.

Meanwhile, Rovers have today completed the signing of 23-year-old defender Ed Asafu-Adjaye (pictured).

The former Luton Town player passed a medical at The New Lawn this morning and signs on a one-year deal.

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