Looking to make an impact in what is set to be his first full season as a Forest Green player, Ben Jefford returned alongside the rest of his teammates to pre-season training on Wednesday keen to get going ahead of the new season.
Mark Cooper took charge of his first training session as FGR’s newly appointed manager, and despite some strange pre-season weather, Jefford was pleased to be back out on the training pitch.
“It was really good and nice to be back,” he said. “You can already see the kind of things the coaching staff and new gaffer are trying to implement in little stages. There are little things they’re trying to get across to us that they want us to produce in the games.
“There are new faces but I’ve been here for six months and I feel quite comfortable. It is just about doing as well as I can and impressing the new management staff, as the rest of the players are doing. Hopefully I can work really hard and get a starting spot.”
Jefford earned a starting place at Wembley for last season’s play-off final having become a Forest Green player in January – transferring from Welling United.
His experience at being at the club will stand him in good stead and he’s confident the new additions to the squad will settle in quickly.
“A few of them will be staying in the hostel which will be good for the new boys for us to get used to them and for them to get used to us,” he added.
“They’ve been at other clubs and we can talk about other players so there is common ground.”
Rovers’ pre-season schedule gets underway on Thursday 7 July with a trip to face Southern League South & West Division outfit Evesham United.
It’s the first game in a nine match warm up calendar of fixtures that Jefford believes will offer the perfect platform to impress the management in an attempt to earn a place in the starting XI.
“Players really enjoy games. You look forward to the game on a Saturday so the more pre-season games that we have the better,” he continued.
“I’m going to work really hard and get my head down. I’m still only 21 so I’ve got a lot of time but this is really the season where I want to be cracking on and pushing up with the club.”
“I showed a little bit of what I can do and I want to show the fans and the new management staff what I can really do for a full season.”