The Vital Forest Fan Interview: Mick Coppard
Q - How long have you been following Forest and what was your first game?
I started supporting Forest in 1976. I was 7 years old and living in Germany. My family didn`t move back to the UK until 1980s and then I lived in Kent. The first time I saw Forest live and in person was in March 1989 , away to Arsenal, in the old first division. It was a great 3-1 win for Forest, with Pearce, Carr and Clough scoring all the goals in the first half. Still the best half of football I have ever seen in person. Arsenal won the league that season and were an excellent side, and Forest played them off the park!
- What are your most memorable moments as a Forest fan? Good and Bad.
Obviously the two European cup wins stick in my mind. Neither of them were the prettiest games to watch, but who cares when you are the best team in Europe! The first relegation from the premiership was gutting, especially watching Cloughie crying and waving goodbye.
- Since you have been following Forest, what would your best starting eleven be? And who is your all time favourite player?
Shilton, Anderson, Walker, Burns, Pearce, Webb, Keane, Robertson, Stone, Collymore, Clough. My all time favourite has to be Pearce; he always gave the impression he would die for the cause and could get the crowd worked into a frenzy with one surging run down the left wing.
- In your opinion, what is the best goal you have seen Forest score?
If it is just down to goals when I have been at the game, I think Collymore`s goal against Man Utd away was pretty special.
- Best and worst away ground visited?
The best ground is difficult... Do I judge on atmosphere or best facilities? I think all round I have enjoyed visiting Highbury the most, but mainly because there has always been a good forest contingent, and I`ve never seen Forest lose there! (and never will now) The worst ground is easy... Gillingham`s Priestfield Stadium, No atmosphere and away supporters crammed onto an uncovered piece of scaffolding, in a corner where you can never see both goalmouths at the same time.
- Which player(s) would you like to see us sign this summer (realistically)?
Realistically???? Unless a sugar daddy comes along pretty quick I think we`ll be lucky to sign anyone. I`d like to see some of our promising youth given a chance rather than waste money, like we have done in recent seasons, on past it players looking for a final payday. (Cole, Lennon, Boateng, Harewood, etc)
- All seater stadia. Good thing, or a bad thing?
Good for me... I`m getting too old to stand for 2 hours!
- What are your thoughts on how Forest did last season and how did it compare to your expectations?
Well below par. I expected to be flirting around the playoffs, and we obviously never even got close from day one.
- What are your expectations for next season in the Championship/Where will we finish?
I honestly believe we have the talent to be safely mid table, if the players play to their strengths and we can add a few good loanees like last season. My main worry is that, with a bare minimum squad, one or two injuries could be a disaster for the club.
- 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 have an excellent record in bringing young talent through, but we seem to have stopped short of bringing them into the first team in recent years. I always have a soft spot for home grown players, so would like to see this approach used again, maybe with the addition of a couple of more established additions, but no-one who will break the bank.
- Name a former Forest player you were most disappointed to see sign for another club?
Both Keane and Collymore were huge losses for the club, but at least in those days we got money for selling players!
- What's your opinion on Steve Cotterill and will he bring success to the club?
It will be interesting to see if he has learned enough from O`Driscoll to keep forest playing the way we did towards the end of last season. If he has then he has every chance of becoming a good manager. He obviously has a good eye for a player, as his load dealings have shown.
- New stadium, or renovate the City Ground?
Renovate! I love the City Ground, although I live abroad now (again), so I don`t get there as much as I would like.
- If you could give one piece of advice to the eventual new owners of NFFC, what would it be?
Don`t hire Platt or Megson!
- Where do you sit/stand at the City Ground?
I don`t get to the City Ground often now... I`m 10 hours away by plane! I have sat in various areas of the ground when I have visited.
- Name the celebrity you would most like to meet.
I reckon having a few jars with Kenny Burns down the Pint Shop would be an enjoyable night out.
Mick Coppard. Exiled in Karachi, Pakistan (Forest World is my saviour!)
Many thanks to Mick 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.