JAMILLE MATT is enjoying the best days of his career at Forest Green.
The 32-year-old striker loves the club so much he wishes he had joined them years ago.
Matt has scored 16 goals this season for the League Two leaders, and is the division’s second-top scorer.
Rovers are seven points clear of second-place Tranmere with a game in hand as they host Carlisle on Saturday.
And Matt said: “The whole environment we’ve got at the club from top to bottom is excellent.
“From chairman Dale Vince and director of football Richard Hughes, the manager Rob Edwards, the whole support staff, players and fans. It’s great to be here.
“We had a good team and squad last season but they’ve brought the manager and a few new players in to build on that.
“The gaffer has improved every single player, every area of the pitch and made us more ruthless.
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“He’s made us better individually and as a team and we’re getting the results too so it’s fantastic to be part of.
“Take the chairman. He trusts the people he’s put in place. The structure is there to be successful.
“It’s about everyone doing their jobs. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here. And I wish I had started at a club like this at the start of my career.”
Matt has been promoted from League Two twice – having gone up with Fleetwood in 2014 and Blackpool in 2017 through the play-offs.
He also suffered the agony of losing a final at Newport against Tranmere in 2019.
And he feels as though he has some unfinished business in League One and would love to prove himself there with Forest Green.
JAMILLE MATT’S clubs
Stevenage (2015-16, loan)
Plymouth (2015-16, loan)
Grimsby (2016-17, loan)
Forest Green (2020-22)
He said: “I’ve never had a fair crack at League One.
“At Fleetwood, just as we were about to start the season I did my cruciate and lateral ligaments so missed the first season.
“I managed to get back the second season but boss Graham Alexander got sacked and I no longer could get the game time.
“We won promotion at Blackpool but I tore my hamstring before the end of the season and when I got fit I wasn’t given a chance.
“In the games I played, I held my own. I’d love to show what I can do with Forest Green.”
Matt was nominated as the League Two player of the season and this season was awarded the club captaincy.
He said: “In terms of potency and effectiveness, I’m definitely playing my best football and so honoured to be captain.
“I want to use all my experience to help the younger boys here – and hopefully I can keep scoring goals to help the team into League One.”
Everyone knows that Forest Green are a vegan club – in terms of no meat is allowed to be consumed by the players while on a team duty in training or on matchdays.
And although by his own admission, Matt is a “meat eater”, the food served up at the Gloucestershire club has inspired him to eat vegan food at home.
He said: “It’s made me much more aware of the choices I’ve been making and the impact on the environment.
“I’d incorporated more meat-free options in my diet before I came to the club,
“But the menu we have at the training ground has inspired me to have three or four days a week meat free. My favourite dish is the vegan spag bol.
“There are obvious health benefits and as the oldest player in the squad it’s important to look after my body – and the nutrition side is important.”