The summer was always going to be a challenge, with Reece Brown and Christian Doidge moving on, but boss Mark Cooper, aided by head of recruitment Rich Hughes, seems to have come up trumps.

Here’s 5 reasons why the window has been a success, according to fan Chris Latham.

1 Cooper acted decisively

As Gavin Gunning walked off the pitch at Prenton Park it felt like it may be the last time we saw him in green and black and so it came to be. Gunning who made more than 60 appearances for FGR left the club alongside several other first team players including Club Captain Lee Collins. But Mark Cooper tends to act decisively in these matters, and this could be seen with the transfer listing of Reuben Reid, now of Cheltenham, and Lloyd James.

2 Keeping hold of our prized assets

Whilst the departures of Christian Doidge and Reece Brown were inevitable the club has done well to retain its other stars. Liam Shephard and Joseph Mills are probably the best pair of full-backs in the league and were instrumental in our improved performances last season. Rovers also staved off rumoured interest from Championship clubs to retain the services of pacey centre-back Nathan McGinley.

3 A better balance to the squad

Last season the squad seemed to lack depth and choices in certain areas, especially the full-back positions, where cover often came from moving a player from another position. This term there are options in every position, particularly in the attacking areas. A good mixture of youth and experience was added to the squad over the summer too. The acquisition of player-coach Matt Mills, whose experience at the top level and overseas helped nurture the potential of our younger signings.

4 A burgeoning relationship with Bristol City?

Having signed Shawn McCoulsky from the Robins in January and played a pre-season friendly in the summer, FGR added Morton and Wollacot on loan from Bristol City. Cooper and Bristol City manager Lee Johnson speak highly of each other and hopefully this is the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship between the two clubs.

5 A marquee signing in Stevens

The pursuit of Matt Stevens seemed to last all summer, but Mark Cooper finally got his man, prompting a jubilant response amongst fans on the eve of the new season when he signed in July. It was good to see the club stand firm over the transfer fees involved as Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony initially claimed he wanted a fee which was ten times higher than Rovers initial offer, before appearing to finally back down.

But whilst Forest Green look to have taken steps forward over the summer, it’s also commonly accepted that the standard of the league has improved too. Rovers have started well and sit in the top half on the same points tally as this time last season, but with the window closed it’s now time for Mark Cooper to find his best XI and a way of creating more goals, which have been harder to come by.

With a young squad it feels like we should continue to improve as the season progresses, but only time will tell if we have enough to match or improve upon last season’s play-off appearance.