Already the worlds greenest football club, League Two's Forest Green Rovers have gone one step further and introduced bamboo shin pads!
With a name like Forest Green, you would expect the environment and being eco-friendly to be at the forefront. Over the past few years, the League Two football club has gone above and beyond to help save the planet in any way they can.
The club started off by changing their menu at the club for fans to a vegan one, and in doing so becoming the worlds first vegan football club. This meant no pies, burgers, chips etc but veggie burgers and meat-free wraps were on offer. This was met with many different opinions and in particular, away fans weren't happy!
They then went and added in solar panels and electric charging stations for cars at the ground. This meant that the whole club is powered by green energy. This is coupled with the fact that their pitch is organic. No herbicides or pesticides are used on in and it is watered with rainwater only! All this has to lead to FIFA and UEFA officially recognising them as the world greenest football club.
New signing – Bamboo!
This season to carry on their trend of being eco-friendly they chose to tackle the first team kit. Teaming up with PlayerLayer they have now got a kit that is made out of 50% bamboo! This has meant a lot fewer plastics used in the production of it.
But that wasn't the final appearance bamboo would be making this season. They have now got bamboo shin pads for all the first team. Usual shin pads are made out of plastic so again cutting the use of the material. Bamboo is a very light material, ideal for shin pads. It is also very strong, again an important quality of a shin pad. They tested them with bowling balls and a hammer and they withstood both.
The shin pads actually look really smart too. They have the clubs badge engraved on the front and the back of them have a cushioning material so its comfortable to wear. They aren't available to purchase yet but the club is hoping they will be in the future.
Up next for Forest Green and their eco-friendly movement is a new ground. They have put in planning permission for the Eco Park. The ground will be made almost completely out of wood and will be surrounded by newly planted tree's and bushes.
They are still in the FA Cup and should they win their replay against Carlisle they will go on to face Cardiff. A win against the Welsh side would see the club receive money from the FA. This would be very helpful in terms of paying for the new stadium. The side has never won the FA Cup but could their new lightweight shin pads make them play better! At 1000/1 on Betfred, it could be an interesting bet.
Currently sitting second in League Two, they will be looking for promotion. If they go into League One they will attract bigger home crowds. Again pointing towards needing a new ground. Just one point off the top spot they are one of the favourites for promotion at Betfred priced at 9/4. However, to win the league seems a bit of a long shot at 11/1.