The Vital Forest Fan Interview: George Akins
Q - How long have you been following Forest and what was your first game?
Been a Forest supporter since one of my Dad`s mate first took me to a match back in April 1965 where we played Blackpool at home and won 2-0. Colin Addison and Ian Storey-Moore scored for the Reds. I was hooked and have had a season ticket ever since.
Q - What are your most memorable moments as a Forest fan? Good and Bad.
Good has to be both of the two European Cup final wins. We were expected to win against Malmo but we were the underdogs against Hamburg. So getting one over on the Germans and a "permed" Kevin Keegan was REALLY sweet. Mind you it was a bit tense afterwards mingling with the Krauts in a very humid Madrid!!
Bad has to be loss against Wolves in the infamous League Cup Final in 1980. Shilts and Needham mucked up and up popped misogynistic (allegedly!) Andy Gray to knock the ball into an empty net. It would have been a hat trick of wins had we won and a feat never repeated to this day. Gutted!
Q - Since you have been following Forest, what would your best starting eleven be? And who is your all time favourite player?
Favourite all time player has to be Duncan McKenzie
Q - In your opinion, what is the best goal you have seen Forest score?
Probably the 1st goal of the four we scored against Manchester City on 27 January 1974. It was only a side foot tap in Ian "Bomber" Bowyer but Duncan McKenzie picked the ball just in their half and beat 6 men to lay it on a plate to Bowyer. I was stood on the terraces in front of the old East Stand and the crowd of 41,000 plus were going ape!
Q - Best and worst away ground visited?
Best - Old Trafford
Worst - The Baseball Ground - it was a sh*thole!
Q- Which player(s) would you like to see us sign this summer (realistically)?
We need a good holding midfield player, not unlike the now departed McKenna - but with a better engine!! I'm not sure who`s realistically available but I'm hoping Scheve does - after that's his bloody job!
Q - All seater stadia. Good thing, or a bad thing?
Well I've stood all over the ground in my time. Main Stand and East Stand in front of the seating, Trent End and, for more seasons than I care to remember, on the Kop. Had some scary moments standing up too. Probably too old to stand now but I do appreciate that standing is far more exciting and the best place to watch football from so I`m disappointed that some of the modern day fans won`t ever get that thrill.
Q - What are your thoughts on how Forest did last season and how did it compare to your expectations?
I think it met my expectations. I never felt we were ever good enough for more than a play off place as we never showed enough consistency. Once we were in the place off I never felt very optimistic about progressing. I think it`s become a mental issue now with the players and its going to be a huge hurdle to overcome.
Q - What are your expectations for next season in the
Championship/Where will we finish?
I think play offs again UNLESS we get some quality players in.
Q- Was it right for the club to sack Billy Davies?
At the time it happened, no. But on reflection it probably was. Billy did a great job for the club and I`ll always be grateful for that but his approach was beginning to grate on me a bit and I really hope McClaren is the man to move us forward.
Q - What's your opinion on the appointment of Steve McClaren and will he bring success to the club?
To be honest I`m really not sure. Like a lot of managers. he's a a very mixed record but I really hopeful his renowned coaching skills will bring more out of the players and develop the obvious talents we having coming through the ranks. I think I`ve got to give the bloke a chance and I`m hoping all the other Tricky fans will do the same.
Q- Acquisitions Panel. Good thing or bad?
Tough call this one. I don't buy into the way Billy Davies portrayed it but I do understand its necessity in some ways after the fiasco with David Platt. However I think a certain amount of trust has to be placed in the manager and his judgement and as long as he`s got a budget and sticks to it. If that sounds like fence sitting then I hold my hands up and plead guilty!
Q - Where do you sit/stand at the City Ground?
Right behind the goal on the back row of the Upper Bridgford Stand.
Q - Name the celebrity whose back doors you'd most like to smash.
I'm that old I don`t think I even understand the question!!!!
Many thanks to George, for taking the time out to answer the questions. If you would like to take part in the Fan Interviews, you`ll find a copy of the questions here. Just email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be published on the front page.
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