It’s been a busy week for Nottingham Forest as pre-season training begins again and new faces arrive while old depart…

The end of June finally saw a number of footballers’ contracts end and the City Ground somewhat sparked into life.

The long-awaited arrival of Matt Mills from Bolton Wanderers and Jamie Ward from Derby County see the first of Dougie Freedman’s summer signings — both on free contracts and no more than £10,000 a week due to the transfer embargo that could continue for another 18 months.

Mills, who played for Freedman at Bolton, told the Nottingham Post: “When it came to speaking to clubs, the financial situation never really entered my mind.


“I am at the stage of my career where I feel I am coming into my prime. It was just a case of trying to find somewhere where I could be successful.

“I could perhaps have earned more by going somewhere else, yes. But I am at Forest for football reasons, because of the manager and because I want to play here.”

Ward, a Northern Irish international, said: “I don’t feel I have a point to prove. It is never nice being released by a club, but that is football and you get on with things.

“At the end of the day, I will give 100% for Forest now and I am happy because I have moved to a big club.

“I have moved to a big club that has a chance of challenging. Honestly, once the call came in and I knew Forest were interested, this really was the place I wanted to come to.”

Although we’ve known for a long time, Danny Collins, Greg Halford and Dan Harding were officially released while Louis Laing joined Motherwell after a loan period last season. Lars Veldwijk departed for Dutch PEC Zwolle on a season-long loan with an option to buy.

Strikers Nicky Maynard and Paul Taylor have been on trial with the club this week as the players returned to training, both have struggled with injuries in recent years. It’s difficult to know if anyone else will sign but might be worth keeping an eye on.

And Academy players left-back Jack Kelly and centre-back Joe Worrall both signed their first professional contracts.

This week also saw Ian Bennett join as Under-21 goalkeeping coach from Huddersfield Town.

With Freedman seeking further signings before the season kicks off next month, more arrivals could be in the pipeline soon.

Have something to tell us about this article?