The Vital Forest Fan Interview: Gerard Bollard
Q - How long have you been following Forest and what was your first game?
Since 1965 aged 8. Forest were in the old first division managed by Johnny Carey. My first match was Forest v Partick Thistle, in a friendly at the City Ground. I stood down by the wall in the old Trent End and I have been 100% Forest ever since.
Q - What are your most memorable moments as a Forest fan? Good and Bad.
GOOD: When forest clinched the old first division in 1978 in an away game at Coventry City. We drew 0-0 at Highfield road. Shilton made an absolutely brilliant save from Ferguson to keep the score at 0-0. There was roughly 20,000 forest fans there. I reached the top of the mountain that day.
BAD: Being beaten by Yeovil in the playoffs at the City Ground. Was watching the match in a pub in Ireland and I will never ever forget the humiliation and shame I felt after that match.
Q - Since you have been following Forest, what would your best starting eleven be? And who is your all time favourite player?
Shilton, Anderson, Burns, Walker, Pearce, Stone, Gemmill, Webb, Robertson, Collymore and Ian Storey-Moore.
Favourite player: John Robertson. Absolute genius. Won so many games for us.
Q - In your opinion, what is the best goal you have seen Forest score?
Archie Gemmill in 1978 versus Arsenal at the City Ground. He ran the full length of the pitch and scored down the West Bridgford end. It won goal of the season on BBC television. I still have the video of that goal at home and put it on when I'm feeling suicidal after watching another shocking Forest performance and I instantly feel better.
Q - Best and worst away ground visited?
Best - The old Wembley. Worst - Burnley (real Coronation Street).
Q- Which player(s) would you like to see us sign this summer (realistically)?
Guedioura - He made an instant impact when he arrived from Wolves. Results improved dramatically. I was certain we were going to be relegated until he arrived.
Q - All seater stadia. Good thing, or a bad thing?
Good and bad. GOOD in the sense that stadiums are now safer and much more comfortable. BAD because most stadiums are now like public libraries with no atmosphere and I also notice when matches get tense and tight the whole place stands up anyway because its a natural reaction. Bring back the old Trent End!
Q - What are your thoughts on how Forest did last season and how did it compare to your expectations?
Complete disaster. We are a big club with a very proud tradition and history and should not be getting excited when we beat the likes of Barnsley and Peterborough (it's embarrassing). We are a Premier league club which has been run in a shocking manner for far too long. Hopefully things will turn around for us and we will get back to where we belong.
Q - What are your expectations for next season in the Championship/Where will we finish?
Worried. Players at the club are mostly not good enough, bar one or two. McClaren signed Miller, Derbyshire, Boateng and Greening when he arrived at the club on big wages and any one of them wouldn't be out of place in a Christmas pantomime. Probably mid-table towards the bottom if we are lucky.
Q- With the introduction of Financial Fair Play coming soon, do you think NFFC should spend their way to promotion, or adopt a more frugal approach in trying to achieve it?
Forest used to have a very good youth academy, unfortunately nothing ever seemed to come of it as regards lots of young players
oming into the first team. Now however with Frank Clark as chairman we might be more careful with our money and spend wisely and sensibly and not be buying wallies for exorbitant fees and putting them on inflated wages.
Q - Name a former Forest player you were most disappointed to see sign for another club?
Neil Webb when he left to go to Man Utd. If he stayed we would have won another league, as we were a class outfit in the late 80's.
Q - What's your opinion on Steve Cotterill and will he bring success to the club?
He did well to keep us in the Championship after McClaren's disastrous start. Don't think he will bring success to the club, just a stop-gap until we get the right man in. Sean O'Driscoll made a massive difference.
Q - New stadium, or renovate the City Ground?
Definitely renovate. Couldn't imagine moving anywhere else. The atmosphere in all these new stadiums doesn't seem the same.
Q - If you could give one piece of advice to the eventual new owners of NFFC, what would it be?
Get rid of Mark Arthur, who is about as much use as a chocolate tea-pot. Also, put some thought into the players they are bringing into the club, not like the last few years where even I would fancy my chances of getting a game.
Q - Where do you sit/stand at the City Ground?
Unfortunately as I now live in Ireland I don't get to the City Ground as often as I would like. However, when living in Nottingham I always sat or stood in the Trent End. Now when I go to the City Ground I sit in the A-block.
Q - Name the celebrity you would most like to meet.
The great Brian Clough. If I can make it to heaven, I would shake his hand and thank him for the greatest 18 years of my life.
Many thanks to Gerard for taking the time out to answer the questions. If you would like to take part in the Vital Forest Fan Interviews, then you can find a copy of the questions here. Just email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish them on the front page.
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