FOOTBALL: Grantham Town geared up to take on Nottingham Forest tonight!
Following a successful visit last season, Nottingham Forest return to The Meres this evening (Friday) for a pre-season fixture with the Gingerbreads.
A strong team is expected to turn out as both outfits prepare for the new season.
A bumper crowd of just under 1,000 turned out for last year’s fixture, which ended in a 2-2 draw, so spectators might do well arriving early to ensure a parking spot and a seat in the main stand if required.
Town manager Adam Stevens is pleased that Forest are returning:
He said: “It was a good game last year with Forest dominating the first period and us the second, and a draw was fair.
“They are a good outfit and it’s an excellent chance to look at some of their up-and-coming talent.
“For our part, we are still building fitness and looking at new players as we map a route to the start against Marine in a few weeks’ time.”
Town lost narrowly against Gainsborough in the County Cup last Thursday, followed by a defeat to a strong York City outfit in a friendly on Saturday.
Stevens is, however, confident that the team is moving in the right direction as both matches revealed positive signs of things to come from the new signings.
Stevens said: “I am pleased with the attitude and application of the new lads.
“They are all young players with a lot to offer and my job is to develop them into better players.
“At the moment, we are trying lots of players, so it is the preparatory stage before we move to working on a settled team and pattern of play.
“The players know there are places to play for if they prove they are capable.”
Club chairman Roger Booth again emphasised that the club is moving in the right direction.
He said: “One area of real progress for us this season is to increase our attendances.
“For the size of our town, we should be attracting more support and we have plans to do something about that.
“One important initiative is this year’s season ticket prices, which are great value; even if you cannot get to all matches, it represents a bargain.
“At £150, just £6.50 a match for adults, £90 for concessions, and £50 for 13-18 year olds, you can see that we are trying our utmost to attract all ages to come along.”
Town hope that prestige matches like this evening’s with Forest will entice fans to come along and see what is on offer at their local club . . . and come back again.
Kick-off at The Meres tonight is 7.45pm.