Dave Hockaday has returned to his old stomping ground by switching Forest Green’s training base to the Royal Agricultural College (RAC) in Cirencester.
The Blue Square Bet Premier club have signed a deal to utilise the college’s impressive and picturesque facilities.
Hockaday said: “I’ve got a lot of history with the place. In 1995 I came there and opened the first academy in the country (with Cirencester Town).
“We played our games there against the pro clubs and they all said they were the best pitches in the country, so the facilities are world renowned.”
Hockaday’s squad will no longer train at Hartpury College, which Rovers have shared with Gloucester Rugby and Gloucester City Football Club since 2005.
Hockaday said: “We’ve had a great relationship with Hartpury but it’s very much a rugby preserve.
“We weren’t able to train on quality grass pitches enough, so we’ve looked around and thankfully the Royal Agricultural College have welcomed us with
The players will meet at RAC for the first time tomorrow (THURS) evening, with 16 of the 17-strong squad expected to take part in the first pre-season
Midfielder Yan Klukowksi is the one exception, having undergone a hernia operation.
Hockaday explained: “Yan is coming through well but will be out for another three of four weeks, so he will miss the first part of pre-season.
“Otherwise we should have everyone available, although Scott Bartlett is coming back from an injury-plagued season and James Bittner has a slight hip problem.”
The Rovers boss also hopes to have at least one new recruit on board by the end of this week, and reiterated the need for more “proven” performers.
He said: “I’d like to get to 20 players, and I hope the next two or three signings will be viewed as the biggest from the fans¹ point of view.
“We need people to take us to the next level, and I think we’re going to have a very, very strong squad.
“This is where I wanted to be last pre-season but unfortunately we didn’t have the resources.”