The Football League New Boys - Lincoln City and Forest Green Rovers
By Anthony Kendrick - Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/Ant_Kendrick - with with thoughts from Nick Davie.
Both Lincoln City and Forest Green Rovers have been in the Non-League headlines for different reasons. Lincoln had a notable FA Cup run last season, reaching the Quarter Finals. As for Forest Green, their battle for the title with Cheltenham Town in the 15-16 season ended in defeat, finishing second and unfortunately losing out in the playoffs. But the 16-17 season saw them bounce back, again finishing second place, but this time winning the Playoffs.
Whilst both sides are financially secure, they are not backed by a rich benefactor and are sustainable, which is good to see in football. There are countless examples of Football League sides who have had investments but are financially unstable. Both sides are also popular for playing a good brand of football with exciting attacking football, being entertaining to watch for the fans.
Forest Green Rovers are known as a quirky club, with their club being completely vegan. Food and drink sold do not contain any animal product, with their Quorn Pie recognised at the British Pie Awards. Their owner Dale Vince OBE is heavily involved in environmental protection, owning the company Ecotricity. While it may be easy to make jokes at their expense, the ideology should be commended.
Lincoln, on the other hand, have come into the Football League from a very impressive 16/17 season, winning the league and as mentioned, reaching the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup. They have a fantastic young manager in Danny Cowley, who has the fantastic story of being a former PE Teacher.
Both teams drew their opening games. Forest Green drew 2-2 against Barnet after losing a two-goal lead, with Christian Doich scoring twice. Questions have been asked of whether he is capable enough for this level, but he has certainly answered them. In Lincoln's case, they achieved an impressive 2-2 draw against Wycombe.
It seems ambitious to put Lincoln as fourth favourites for the title as Skybet did, but a good season certainly seems achieveable. It would be a great story for both sides could have good seasons, perhaps two top half finishes? I wouldn't write off the chances of one of the two sides making the playoffs.