'Upsetting' Bristol deal collapse fires Forrester
Published 26/06/2015 | 02:30
One could easily be misled by Chris Forrester's laid-back demeanour but inside the relaxed exterior is a burning desire that right now is fuelled by his collapsed move to Bristol City.
The 22-year-old St Patrick's Athletic attacker looked set to fulfil a lifelong ambition and sign with the English club until the then-manager Sean O'Driscoll was sacked and the move fell through.
Eighteen months on, Forrester is still pained by how it all unfolded and after trialling with Watford and Wolves, he finally felt ready to make the step up.
That pain has now turned into a motivational factor for the former Ireland U-21 international and although he knows that plenty of people have written him off, he has confidence in his own ability to seal a move across the Irish Sea.
"I'd love to play in England, it's always been a dream. It probably hasn't gone as well as I would have hoped," Forrester admitted at the launch of the new adidas range of ACE and X football boots.
"Well, it definitely hasn't gone as well as I would have hoped because I'm not there!
"It's something I'd really love to do and it was a bit upsetting for me when I nearly signed for Bristol City there and it kind of all fell apart.
"It was a bit upsetting for me at the time. But I got my head around it and focused on playing well here. Obviously if I play well here, it will attract people to come and watch me play."
Forrester revealed how Greg Cunningham, who is still playing with Bristol City, showed him the ropes at Ashton Gate and after his trial period ended, he could see himself fitting in with the club's style.
"I thought I would have had a good chance to get into the team eventually. It was pretty upsetting at the time, yeah, it took me a while to get over it," he conceded.
"It was kind of a good and a bad thing because I knew I could probably play at that level and mix it with those players. It's helped me this season because I want to get back to where I was. So that was good."
At 22, Forrester still has time on his hands but he knows that the opportunities to impress are few and far between.
"Yeah, the old legs won't carry me as well any more!" he laughed.
"But obviously you hear of people saying it's probably too late for him to go, but there are players who went over who were older than me. So I suppose it's a case of, keep the dream alive."
After a stuttering start to the season, Pat's have found their form and trail Dundalk by 10 points and a win against Longford Town this evening would be their fourth league win on the bounce.
Saints have already dropped points away Longford and with a trip to Latvia to take on Skonto FC in the Europa League qualifier, the mood around Richmond Park has lifted.
The return to form has also coincided with striker Christy Fagan overcoming his injury problems and Forrester was as relieved as anyone to have him back in the side.
"We had won four games before the break and we knocked Rovers out of the Cup so confidence was really high, and nothing has changed, it's the same intensity and desire," Forrester said.
"A couple of games didn't go our way and that gave us the kick up the ass that we needed, we kicked into gear and we are very confident at the moment.
"Maybe it (bad form) was down to Christy Fagan being out, a lot of the lads there have played with him for the last three-four years, we have a certain style of playing.
"Liam (Buckley) likes to play by design, get the ball into the striker with people playing off him and Christy is the best at that in the league."
Pat's have pulled themselves back into contention for the league title but, according to Forrester, he never felt like they were out of it.
"For me, personally, it (league) was never off. I always wanted to win the league, no matter how far ahead of us they (Dundalk) were I wanted us to fight until the end of the season. It was all doom and gloom.
"There was a lot of people talking about how bad Pat's were and that sort of talk but now they are back talking about how good we are again, that's how it goes over a few games.
"We will fight them until the end of the season and push them as hard as we can. That's always been our plan."
After a slight diversion, Pat's plan is very much back on track.