Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince says League Two is first step to the Championship

Kaiyne Woolery celebrates
Image: Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince has his sights set on the Championship

Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince has said life in the English Football League is getting more real by the week, as the club learned who they would be facing on the opening day of the League Two season on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old insists League Two is just the start for the club in their quest to reach the Championship within a matter of years.

Rovers welcome Barnet in their first game in the Football League on the opening day of the Sky Bet League Two season on 5 August.

"It's all getting very exciting for us," Vince told Sky Sports News HQ. "We've got our first home game here against Barnet which is great, and also to see who we're playing and when.

"Our boys are back in about 10 days, off to Portugal in about a month for pre-season training and the whole thing is becoming real for us.

"Absolutely, it [promotion] is certainly our hope. League Two is the first big step for us. We want to be a Championship football club in a few years time. That's been our ambition since getting started here a few years ago.

"We hope to do well in League Two but we won't be in a hurry, in the same way in which we weren't in a hurry to leave non-league.

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"We want to do it right and take sustainable steps so that as we move on we can sustain ourselves in the higher leagues."

Newly promoted Forest Green Rovers, who play in a village which has a population of 6000, is a club where green technology is king

Vince became majority shareholder at the club in 2010, and set about making the club the 'greenest in world'. The club have stopped selling fish, no longer use cow's milk and even the beer and cider on sale at The New Lawn Stadium is completely vegan.

The businessman, who owns Ecotricity, is convinced the implementations have played a major role in the club's success, as they won the National League play-off final to secure their EFL place.

"One stand has solar panels, and we're making that 20% of our electricity," he added. "The pitch is organic and underneath it we've got a system of drains to capture the water and feed that goes on it, which is Scottish seaweed, so we capture it and put it back on the pitch, so we kind of recycle it.

"Out front, we've got charging points for electric cars so fans can drive up in their electric cars and still get home, and the food, of course, is vegan which is also another very important sustainability issue: what we eat.

"We went to Wembley without an injury in the squad and I think that must be pretty exceptional in football at that time of the season, and certainly there is a link between a vegan diet and a lack of soft tissue injuries and there must have been an element of that for us, as well as the sports science and fitness guys doing a very good job."

You can see Forest Green's League Two fixture list in full HERE.

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