Stevenage boss Dino Maamria: I respect Forest Green Rovers’ vegan principles ahead of ‘tough trip’ to New Lawn
PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 21 August 2018
High-flying Stevenage are set for a tough match in the west country on Tuesday evening when they visit Forest Green Rovers – the UK’s only vegan football club. Read on for Layth Yousif’s comprehensive preview of the match as Boro boss Dino Maamria hails the Green Devils’ principles.
Dino Maamria’s men sit joint top on points, behind Exeter City in top spot, with Lincoln in second.
It has been a good month for Boro in League Two so far with an excellent victory 3-1 at Crawley, followed up by a 1-0 victory against Morecambe at the Lamex.
The two wins came after a hard-fought 2-2 draw against newly-promoted Tramere at Broadhall Way on the opening weekend of the season.
However, Maamria is urging caution ahead of a challenging trip to face Mark Cooper’s fifth place side at the New Lawn.
Speaking to CometSport he said: “I am very impressed with them.
“I watched their last three games and Mark Cooper has learned from the league.
“He has been there a year and a half now and they look very impressive.
“They are unbeaten like us and it is going to be tough for us. We have to be better than what we were on Saturday to get the result we need.”
Forest Green continued their unbeaten start to the season as Mark Cooper’s side drew 1-1 with Bury at Gigg Lane.
Christian Doidge’s 29th minute goal looked to set Rovers on their way to all three points until former Blackpool defender Will Aimson’s struck in the last seconds of thee match.
Rovers will be looking to build on their good start, with Maamria aware of their dynamic style.
He added: “They get the balance between dominating possession and going long, they do both sides of the game. They are an athletic team and I think they have a very good team. I expect them to be up there this season.”
Boro fans, players and officials will be visiting the country’s only completely vegan football club.
Chairman Dale Vince insists on no meat, fish or animal products of any kind – even the wine and beer is vegan.
Forest Green also have an organic pitch fertilised with Scottish seaweed in a bid to make the club sustainable.
They also recycle their water and have a solar powered lawnmower.
The move has proved popular as sales have more than quadrupled.
The ethos from the former New Age traveller turned millionaire is credited with even helping the side gain promotion to the football league in 2017 after 128 years due to a vegan diet which is said to aid soft tissue injuries.
Maamria added: “I respect their principles and their chairman who is a very good guy.
“You have to take your hat off to them.”
The Green Devils did the double over Boro last term during their first season as an EFL team.
In the head-to-head between the two sides who have faced each 29 times in total, Stevenage have won 13 times, with 10 draws and six defeats to the Nailsworth-based side.
Follow Layth’s coverage of the match at Forest Green on Twitter @laythy29.