Whatever happens on the pitch, plans are in place to give Forest fans a good time: home and away.
You’ll have seen Andy Hallam (superfan) crop up on numerous occasions on Notts TV’s The Boot Room. We spoke to Andy about this exciting new venture.
Let's get straight to the point: at the 'Audience with Ian Bowyer' evening, you mentioned putting on some sort of Roadshow/Marquee event prior to every Forest game this forthcoming season. The fixtures are out and the season is looming large - can you give us some details about this? What can we expect?
As an offshoot from the Boot Room, myself, Jonny Owen, Vicky McClure and Paul McGregor attended a charity day at Meadow Lane to support a cerebral palsy charity day; we try to support as many charity events as we can through the Boot Room banner and it lead, as it always does, to a few beers afterwards.
Between Jonny, Macca and myself, we cooked up the idea of taking The Boot Room Live on the road, 'at a venue near you'.
We felt that it is has been a bit tough of late watching The Reds and that we could put together a great format prior to the game, that would give the fans a good time outside the ground, even if the experience in the ground was not as enjoyable.
We have a big list of contacts that we can draw upon to add to our abilities ourselves and present a topical, musical, football based roadshow that focuses on The Reds.
The venue at home will be The Trent Navigation on Meadow Lane.
Is this for away games too? Won't that be a bit difficult logistically to set up?
Yes, we are hoping to roll out to selected away games too and we are making contacts already, now the fixtures give us an idea geographically, where the challenges lie.
I am beginning to make contact with Championship clubs and have such games as Villa away and The Owls away, within my sights. We are taking a leaf from 'The Plymouth Taverners', who operate a similar experience, but we hope to go a level better.
Where did the idea come from? What inspired this?
Beer of course, and wanting to make the games more of an enjoyable experience. We have access to loads of bands, DJ's ex-footballers, some celebs and the package looks brilliant. In the job I do for Great Northern Inns, I have the experience to pull events like this off and with the colleagues that I work with, there is a constant source of support, experience and inspiration, to augment what we already have at our disposal.
On the pitch, it all looks a bit untidy and up in the air at the moment. You've been there, seen it all and worn the t-shirt. How do you see the season ahead?
All of a sudden, I am very positive again about our club and hopefully the two appointments of Pedro Pereira and Phillipe Montanier, give the club a look of flair and hopefully, we will be playing open attacking football, instead of the negative football we saw last year under Dougie Freedman.
I hope at the time of print, that the takeover by Mr Marinakas has taken place and that we can move forward and forget the frustrated management of the club that has been upon us previously.
The away support in particular at the last three away games, gave me the buzz again that with the right structure at the club, we might have a real go this season and that is the feeling that we need to go into the new season with.
We already have some very good Championship players; now the new guys need to be left alone to deliver to us, the success we crave.
Finally, congratulations on the opening of the new Southbank Bar in the centre of Nottingham. Looks like there are some big and exciting events coming up there. What's in the pipeline?
Thank you. There are some very special, experienced and hardworking people that work for the Great Northern Inns estate and the demand for success at all our venues, comes from considered and fair management from Dave Willans and Les Howard. 25 years of hard work on their behalf, delivers great venues and pubs such as the Copper chain, The Southbank brand, The Cross Keys, The Flower Shop and The Trent Navigation.
The Southbank Nottingham City Centre opened successfully for the Euros and has already reinvented itself from The Approach to being a great sports and music venue in the heart of the city. We have upped our sights to present evenings of entertainment with Shaun Ryder, The Farm, Jazzy Jeff, Roy Ayers and we are constantly looking at bringing more to the venue.
Tom Holydynksy our General Manager and Myself are looking constantly and negotiating continually, with the likes of Stan Collymoore and Ian Wright. We are always looking for the right deal to bring them to the Southbank brand and Owen Roach brings with him the experience of his management at The Southbank West Bridgford to run a tight ship at the new outlet.
Thanks for your time, good luck to The New Forest Trust and thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
Huge thanks to Andy for telling us all about this.
See you at the marquee where there are sure to be a few more pleasant surprises.