Forest Green chairman Dale Vince says club will sign three strikers and challenge for title next season

First published in Sport by

FOREST Green chairman Dale Vince insists the arrival of three new strikers will give his side a crack at the Blue Square Premier title next season.

In a revealing interview, Vince gives a frank assessment of the season - and backed boss David Hockaday to take his side into the Football League.

Vince said: "We already have ink on paper in one case and two more cases next week, but I can tell you they're three new strikers."

And Vince believes the unnamed trio will give Rovers the necessary firepower to challenge the top brass.

He added: "I do expect we will at least make the play-offs next season - and I have to tell you I think we could win the league."

Vince is more than satisfied with Rovers' season, which has seen the once perennial relegation strugglers, surpass their proclaimed 60-point target.

"The first part of the mission is accomplished," said Vince.

"We thought we might get close to the play-offs and I think we're still in with a shout, but the chances of actually getting in the play-offs are virtually over.

“We've had a great season and it has turned out pretty much how we expected it would."

Vince also thinks his manager is beginning to win over the critics.

"On any rational analysis he (David Hockaday) didn't have the tools to do the job.

" He had a very small budget the year I joined the club and had 13 players in his squad and at the start of that season they were training part-time - all sorts of factors that most fans couldn't see, which meant we were destined to have a battle that season for relegation."

But with the club ethos changed, Rovers are now on an upward curve.

Vince added: "We've changed all that this season and we've got super training facilities and started the season with a proper-sized and talented squad.

"David had the chance to show everyone what he's capable of and I think even his fiercest critics wouldn't dispute this."

Vince is certainly in for the long haul and is surprised to hear a small section of fans doubt his commitment.

He said: "I can imagine people can think anything and people that don't know me might think that, but anybody who knows me wouldn't dream of it.

"I am full of optimism for the future. The fans get behind the team and the management now and it's much better than last year. We're not in a relegation battle and we will be in a promotion battle next season for sure."

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