Forest Green Rovers defender Matt Mills admitted he contemplated retirement before he joined the club earlier this summer.

The 32-year-old defender was Mark Cooper's first signing of the summer, joining from Indian Super League side Pune City.

Mills also had other offers from abroad before he accepted will a player/coach role at the New Lawn.

The former Nottingham Forest and Manchester City defender sat down with the SNJ's Paul Joannou and discussed his time in India, his coaching role and playing with his brother Joseph this season.

You were the first signing of the summer, how have you settled in?

MM: "I came and joined for two or three weeks at the back end of last season so I felt comfortable with the manager and the lads so walking in first day didn't feel like a normal first day.

"It's been great, playing wise I know the way the manager wants to play so I was comfortable to pick up his ideas quickly. In terms of the coaching bits that I've done the lads have been brilliant with me, they've listened so if I can pass on some knowledge across then it will be a good thing for individual players and for the team."

You mention those bits of coaching, have you been working towards your badges as well?

MM: "I did my B License in the summer so I've passed the practical side of it, I just need to submit the theory side by Christmas then I'll probably do my A License next summer so it's the perfect scenario for me to carry on playing. Physically I feel capable, the manager has been fantastic with me, he's given me a lot of insight with staff meetings, video analysis and has let me take control of certain situations.

"He's been guiding me through it and I'm really enjoying it."

Are you also excited about the playing side as well this season?

MM: "I featured in a lot of the pre-season games so fingers crossed I can start. I've done all the running and hard yards so I don't want to work all week and not play on a Saturday so if I'm fit and available and the manager thinks I warrant a start then I'm more than happy to continue playing."

You've got a lot of experience in the Championship, but what was your year in India like?

MM: "It was good, I think after 15 years of first team football in England it takes a lot out of you. Not just physically but mentally.

"The three years at (Nottingham) Forest was especially draining. It was a good experience but I was ready for a bit of a break.

"I got messed around by a few clubs doing medicals and getting contracts changed on me last minute so I thought, I want to take a year out from England and experience something different.

"India was fantastic for that. The weather was great, I met some fantastic people, learnt a different style of football and a different culture so it was a good experience."

What would you say is different about the style of football in India?

MM: "Technically it's very good. The Indian boys probably physically aren't as good as the English lads. I think the introduction of seven foreign players in the squad and they've played in good leagues around the world so they bring that experience and in terms of FIFA standings India are now in the top 100 now and they were nowhere near that five years ago when the Indian Super League first started so it's developing football in the right way and it was good to be a part of that so I think that's what got me interested in the coaching side because I found myself being quite an influential person in the squad in terms of defensive structures and strategies."

So it benefitted you a lot personally as well?

"Definitely, it helped me destress from being under the spotlight and being under massive pressure at big football clubs so it was good for me mentally and physically there wasn't as many games so it's helped me recharge my batteries going into this season."

Was the plan always to return to England this summer?

MM: "I'd spoken to teams out in India, I was offered a move to Australia and contemplated retirement so I didn't really have a set path of what I wanted to do.

"I came to train with Forest Green because when the Indian season finished it was too long, like four months before say the start of the English season, five if I'd have gone to Australia so I needed to keep fit and keep ticking over and it got me out the house but I really enjoyed the culture of the club.

"I learned a lot from the manager and there's not many managers I've worked with in my career that I actually learned from so that was a huge positive.

"The lads were great and it happened organically really. The manager called me just after they lost in the play-offs and said, 'do you fancy it?'

"And I said yes so here we are."

Did your brother have an impact as well?

MM: "He wasn't pushy, like 'I'm desperate for you to sign,' he just left it to me really.

"We're really good friends off the pitch and it's one thing we've jokingly said that one day we'll play together.

"I think it's nice for my parents. I've got two little girls, he's got kids and they can come to the games so that side of it works out and doing the coaching side it just all seemed to tie in."

Hoping to add a promotion to your CV as well?

MM: "100 per cent. I think coming having spoken to my brother he said that was the driving force, obviously they just missed out but I've certainly not come here not to get promoted, that's got to be goal but I'm sure there'll be 10 other teams with the same ambition so we've got to make sure that we do the right things and come May we're in a position to move up to League One.