Marcus Kelly became the 24th Forest Green Rovers player to reach a century of league games at this level for the club in last weekend’s draw at Braintree Town.

It’ll be of little surprise for many that the defender or midfielder, who turned 30 a month ago, has reached that number of appearances in an FGR shirt, having proven himself to be an impressive talent since he first pulled on a shirt for the club.

Signed in the summer of 2013 by former manager David Hockaday, Kelly was introduced to FGR by former coach and current Kettering Town manager Marcus Law, who had fgrworked with ‘Kels’ at Kettering and Tamworth. Immediately it became clear that he was quite an addition.

He scored a hat-trick on his debut in an 8-0 thrashing of Hyde on the opening day of the 2013-14 season, and went onto score nine times that campaign, ending it with the club’s Supporters Player of the Year, Players Player of the Year and Goal of the Season awards.

His second season saw him utilised in a new look left back position by Ady Pennock.

Although that position wasn’t new for him he still contributed in helping the club reach the play-offs for the first time, scoring a vital goal at Dartford and providing several assists, even from the back four.

Having come through the youth system at Aston Villa, where he could name the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor as a teammate, he was let go by the top flight outfit at 16 year olds and joined Rushden & Diamonds – the closest Football League club to where he grew up in Northamptonshire.

He went onto make over 150 appearances for Rushden in the Football League and then in the fifth tier.

Moves to Oxford United and then hometown outfit Kettering Town followed, before a season long stint at Tamworth that came before his move to The New Lawn.

Source: Forest Green Rovers FC

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