FOREST Green have confirmed they will now play Championship club Cardiff City at home in a pre-season friendly.

Rovers, who return to training on June 28, were due to travel to Cardiff City Stadium on Friday, July 27 but the tie has now been switched to the New Lawn on Saturday ,July 28.

The game has been arranged due to the close friendship between Forest Green boss David Hockaday and Cardiff’s Malaky Mackay after their time together at Watford.

The tie will be a tough one for Rovers, but with the club setting their sights on promotion to the Football League, boss David Hockaday is keen to prepare the squad against top-quality opposition in the run up to the 2012/2013 season.

“We’re are delighted to be hosting Cardiff at the New Lawn,” said Hockaday. “They are a great club and we hope it attracts some new fans through the gate ahead of what will be an exciting season.

“Cardiff just missed out on promotion to the Premier League last season and they play at a higher standard to what we are used to each week.

“But playing against teams like this will allow us to see where we are now and what else we need to do to get to the next level.”

Four days before the Cardiff game, Rovers welcome Hockaday’s former side Swindon Town with Paolo di Canio League Two champions travelling the short distance to Nailsworth on Tuesday ,July 24, 7.45pm. Rovers also face Gary Waddock’s League One Wycombe Wanderers.

Hockaday’s side travel to Southern League outfit North Leigh and FA Trophy semi-finalists Wealdstone as part of the deals that brought Matty Taylor and Kieron Forbes to the New Lawn. A date for the Gary Neville Allstar X1 is yet to be confirmed but is set to take place in early August.

FGR pre-season friendlies: Tuesday, July 10,Brimscombe (A) 7.30pm, Saturday, July 14, North Leigh (A) 3pm, Tuesday, July 17 Cirencester Town (A) 7.30pm, Wednesday, July18 Wycombe Wanderers (H) 7.30pm, Friday, July 20, Shortwood United (A) 7.30pm, Tuesday, July 24, Swindon Town (H7.45pm, Friday, July 27, Cardiff City (A) 7.45pm, Tuesday , July 31, Slimbridge (A) 7.30pm, Friday, August 3, Wealdstone (A) 7.30pm.