ADY PENNOCK has professed delight with his ‘energetic’ and ‘enthusiastic’ team at Forest Green.

The Forest Green boss, his new assistant Jamie Day, conditioning coaching Neil Withington and goalkeeping coach Glyn Jones are currently putting the first-team squad through their pre-season paces at a boot camp in Northern Ireland ahead of their opening friendly against Championship outfit Cardiff City at the New Lawn next Wednesday.

Pennock said: “The boys completed two days of fitness and fat testing at Brimscombe-based Inside Football last week.

"We gave them a programme over the summer and they have returned in good shape, so I am really pleased, but you would expect that of professionals."

Pennock is now watching his side fine tune their aerobic conditioning with triple training sessions over a gruelling five-day period.

He added: "The boys are training each day at 7am, 11am and 4pm. They're responding well and the time away is good for team spirit as it certainly proved last year in Scotland."

Pennock has moved on from the play-off semi final defeat to Bristol Rovers and is relishing the new Vanarama National League season.

"I was pleased how we finished the second half of the season and we moved on very quickly from the disappointment of Bristol Rovers and I am really looking forward to the new season." 

Rovers open the new National League season with an away clash at Altrincham on Saturday, August 8.

Pennock said: “It’s always tough starting the season away from home. We had two draws against Altrincham last season, so it will be a challenge having them first up.

“As for Barrow, Boreham Wood and Bromley, they’ll be buzzing after promotion last season. They were three teams that deserved to come up, so it will be a difficult opening month.”

The first home game will see Pennock and his new assistant Jamie Day face their old club Welling United on Tuesday August 11.

The home derby against Cheltenham Town has been scheduled for Tuesday, September 22.

Rovers make the short trip to Whaddon Road on Saturday, November 21, with a trip to Torquay United on Boxing Day.

Rovers finish the season at Dover Athletic on Saturday, April 30.

uLeft-back Chris Stokes has completed a permanent move to Coventry City on a one-year deal.

Former Forest Green captain Anthony Barry, who left Rovers last Rovers last month by mutual consent, has joined League Two outfit Accrington Stanley.

Meanwhile, striker Andy Mangan has made the switch from Shrewsbury Town to Rovers’ National League rivals Tranmere Rovers, where he will play alongside ex- Forest Green favourite James Norwood.

Striker Danny Wright has joined Cheltenham Town, who were relegated from League Two last season and Lee Hughes is training with former club Port Vale.