Solihull Moors F.C.

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Solihull Moors
SolihullMoorsFCBadge.png
Full name Solihull Moors Football Club
Nickname(s) The Moors
Founded 10 July 2007; 10 years ago (2007-07-10)
Ground Damson Park
Ground Capacity 4,313 (1,000 seated) [1][2]
Chairman Trevor Stevens
Manager Vacant
League National League
2016–17 National League, 16th of 24
Website Club website

Solihull Moors Football Club is an English semi-professional association football club, founded in 2007 by the merger of Moor Green and Solihull Borough.

The club plays its home games at Damson Park, Solihull and competes in the National League, the fifth tier of English football.

History

On 10 July 2007, the club was formally announced as being merged and details of the new club logo and kits for the forthcoming season were released.[3]

In one of their first games Solihull Moors beat Birmingham City reserves. This fixture happened annually as part of an agreement which allowed Birmingham to play their reserve games at Solihull's ground. With the overhaul of reserve football in England, Birmingham City's development squads now play their fixtures at their club's training facilities rather than at Solihull Moors.

In November 2007 the club announced a partnership with National Division One rugby union club Pertemps Bees.[4] The deal was intended to see the two clubs share the Damson Park facilities as well as the formation of community and coaching projects for Solihull. This was finally made official in 2010.[5] The groundsharing arrangement came to an end in 2012, as Bees dropped into the fourth tier of English Rugby Union.[6] As a relic of that short-lived groundsharing deal, one of the seated stands at Solihull Moors' Damson Park is part of the Bees' main stand from their former Sharmans Cross Road home.

Throughout the 2007–08 Conference North campaign, then-manager Bob Faulkner kept much of the same squad that had represented Moor Green the previous season, with some summer additions from elsewhere. No Solihull Borough players were retained. Solihull Moors' first ever league goal was an equaliser scored from range by Darren Middleton, in a game that also saw Moors score their first ever league point, a 1–1 home draw with Barrow A.F.C. in their first ever competitive game.[7] Moors had to wait two further weeks for a first ever competitive win, beating Gainsborough Trinity 3–1 at home. The club finished their first ever season in seventeenth position in the Conference North, securing survival with a win away at Blyth Spartans in April 2008. In their first FA Cup campaign, Solihull Moors reached the Fourth Qualifying Round before being dispatched 5–0 by Rushden & Diamonds, then of the Football Conference.[8]

A number of changes were made to the Solihull Moors squad ahead of the 2008–09 season, with 8 summer signings made. Progress for the first team was slight, however, with the Moors managing sixteenth place in the league. The youth side, in contrast, made enormous strides, finishing as Midland Floodlit Youth League champions, and reaching the second round of the FA Youth Cup, before losing a close tie 2–0 to the academy side of professional club Tranmere Rovers. The cup run saw Solihull beat Wellington 18–0 during qualification. Five of that season's impressive youth crop signed for the senior squad during the close season.[9]

A topsy-turvy 2009–10 season saw Moors go from relegation candidates in mid-September to mid-table by the new year, before slipping to a more customary seventeenth position by the end of the season. A seemingly revolving-door transfer policy reflected the difficulty of the season for Solihull Moors on the pitch. However, one notable acquisition from that season is Ryan Beswick, who remains with the club today.[10]

On Monday 7 February 2011, Moors manager Bob Faulkner died of cancer aged 60, after almost 25 years of managing Moor Green and Solihull Moors combined.[11] Micky Moore, his assistant and also former Solihull Borough manager, was the initial replacement, however he resigned on 21 June 2011 to take up the full-time position of assistant manager at Mansfield Town.[12] Moors finished seventh in the Conference North that season, then their best finish since the formation of the club.[13] Under Faulkner and Moore's leadership, a squad that boasted the attacking prowess of Adam Cunnington and Matt Smith only narrowly missed out on the playoffs, following a late season collapse as momentum faded. At this point, extra seating was installed at Damson Park in anticipation of promotion challenges to come.[14] The club also reached the final of the Birmingham Senior Cup for the first time during this season, losing 2–0 to West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.[15]

Marcus Bignot was announced as the new manager of Solihull Moors on 27 June 2011.[16] The ex-Crewe, Bristol Rovers, QPR and Millwall defender arrived at the club a week after the departure of Moore. With some players integral to the strong performance in the previous season having moved on, he inherited a youthful squad that lacked experience, which won none of its pre-season friendlies.[17] The first seven games of the season ended in defeat. Using his connections in the game, Marcus brought in several new players and immediately results started to improve, so much so that by January the possibility of the playoffs seemed achievable. However, it proved impossible to maintain the momentum and by the end of the season the club finished just above the drop zone, in nineteenth place.

After a difficult first season under Marcus Bignot, the Moors continued their progress on the pitch towards challenging for promotion from the Conference North. The club finished ninth in 2013, followed by an eighth-place finish in 2014. 2014 also saw the introduction of a more robust club infrastructure at Solihull Moors, with the number of teams within the club's youth and junior structure rising from 3 to 27. Efforts to promote the club within the local community and increase attendances also slowly began to pay off at this point, with attendances up 80% on previous years.[18] Moors had a more difficult 2014–15 season, managing only twelfth in the Conference North. However, 2014–15 also brought new opportunities for the club, with Birmingham City Ladies joining the Moors at Damson Park.[19]

The Moors reached new heights under Bignot in 2015–16, winning the National League North title and securing promotion for the first time to the National League. The team finished the season with 85 points, winning the league comfortably with three games to spare. Promotion was secured on a night that Solihull were not even playing, as a defeat for North Ferriby United at Stalybridge Celtic mathematically confirmed their championship.[20] Solihull also lifted the Birmingham Senior Cup for the first time – at the second time of asking – defeating Birmingham City 2–1 at St. Andrew's Stadium.[21]

Solihull Moors began their first National League campaign away at Sutton United on 6 August 2016, winning their first match at national level 3–1.[22] Moors have since had their first ever televised game, winning 4–0 at home to Southport in front of the cameras on 4 October 2016.[23] Solihull also booked their place in the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, after beating Kettering Town at home in the Fourth Qualifying Round.[24] In the first round the team defeated Yeovil Town of League Two.In November, Bignot left to take the manager's job at Grimsby Town.[25] Moors appointed former Hednesford Town and Redditch United manager Liam McDonald, who guided the team to 16th in their maiden campaign in the fifth tier. McDonald left the club by mutual consent in October 2017 and was replaced by Richard Money.

Moors Academy

Moors Academy was founded in 2016 and is split between under 19s and the Solihull Moors reserves team. Both teams will feature players aging between 16–18. This shows the intention that Solihull Moors want younger players to come through their ranks and try and break into the first team whilst already having experience from adult football. The under 19s team play in the National U19 Alliance league and the Solihull Moors reserves play in the third tier of the Midland Football League. The club also boasts over 30 junior sides playing on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as three girls teams and a ladies team.[26]

Stadium

The stand behind the goal at Damson Park, July 2016

Currently known as the Automated Technology Stadium for sponsorship reasons, the club ground is situated on Damson Parkway in the Damsonwood area of town, about one mile north of Solihull town centre, next to the Land Rover car plant.[27]

The ground has two seated stands on either side of the pitch, and a covered stand of mixed seating and terracing at the southeastern end of the ground, where all six entrances are located. The main stand lies on the southwestern side of the ground and is connected to the clubhouse. The clubhouse contains three separate bar areas, and is also home to a pie & chips shop on matchdays. The stand has seating at the bottom and a balcony above reserved for sponsors and club officials. Adjacent to the main stand is an area of hard standing with a raised toilet block. The steps leading to the entrances to the toilet facilities provide the only small area of terracing at that end of the ground, and are thus popular with a group of Solihull Moors fans calling themselves "The Number 2 Crew" when their side is attacking that end of the pitch.

Turnstiles open into the area next to the main stand (which also hosts the club shop and a hot food concession), the hard standing area on the opposite side of the pitch from the main stand, and into the other large stand. This area, known as 'The Shed' – or sometimes also 'The Tuck Shop End' to supporters, is currently officially titled as 'The T&C Cars Stand' for sponsorship reasons. As its name suggests, it is home to the club tuck shop which sells refreshments throughout the match, but not hot food.

Much of the rest of the ground is undeveloped hard standing. Nearest to the turnstiles on the northeast side of the ground, there is a toilet block and sometimes a second hot food stall, depending on segregation requirements and demand. Opposite the main stand there is a single step of terracing that straddles the halfway line of the pitch. Further along this side, in the opposite direction from the T&C Cars Stand, is a smaller area of covered seating that was erected in 2016. The furthest end of the ground from the turnstiles is all hard standing, and is known as "The DrainTech End" for sponsorship reasons.

The Autotech Stadium also welcomed Birmingham City Ladies for the first time in the 2014–15 FA Women's Super League season, who also competed in the UEFA Women's Champions League.[28] Birmingham City Ladies tend to play their WSL matches on Sundays, therefore avoiding clashes with Solihull Moors fixtures.

In April 2017 the stadium received Grade A status from the FA Ground Grading Technical Panel. [29]The stadium seats 770 across the three different seated areas of the ground. Overall capacity is 3050. There are plans underway to increase the overall capacity to 4313 by developing all sides of the ground, in line with requirements for the National League. On 7 October 2017, Richard Money took charge of his first game for Moors with a record attendance of 2,658.[citation needed]

Players

Current squad

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of 22 September 2017.[citation needed]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Charlie Bannister
2 England DF Kristian Green
3 England DF Kalern Thomas
4 England MF Darren Carter
5 England DF Joel Kettle
6 England DF Calum Flanagan
7 Zimbabwe MF Shepherd Murombedzi
8 England MF Ashley Sammons
9 England FW Luke Benbow
10 England FW Jermaine Hylton
11 England MF Christopher Lait
12 England DF Jordan Cullinane-Liburd
13 England GK Nick Townsend (on loan from Barnsley)
No. Position Player
14 England MF Simeon Maye
16 England MF Callum Coyle
17 England FW Oladapo Afolayan
21 England DF Reiss McNally
22 England MF Paul Green
24 Republic of Ireland DF Sean St Ledger
25 England MF George Carline
26 England DF Liam Daly
28 England GK Darren Acton
30 Republic of Ireland DF Fiacre Kelleher (on loan from Oxford United)
34 Netherlands FW Akwasi Asante (on loan from Grimsby Town)
35 Jamaica MF Courtney Richards (on loan from Macclesfield Town)
37 England DF Chris Camwell (on loan from Coventry City)

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player

Seasons

Year League Level P W D L F A GD Pts Position Leading league scorer Goals FA Cup FA Trophy Average attendance
2007–08 Conference North 6 42 12 11 19 50 76 −26 47 17th of 22 Darren Middleton 11 QR4 QR3 300
2008–09 Conference North 6 42 13 10 19 49 73 −24 49 16th of 22 Jake Edwards 9 QR2 QR3 232
2009–10 Conference North 6 40 11 9 20 47 58 −11 42 17th of 21 Jake Edwards 7 QR3 QR3 248
2010–11 Conference North 6 42 18 10 12 66 49 +17 64 7th of 22 Ryan Beswick 13 QR3 QR3 317
2011–12 Conference North 6 42 13 10 19 44 54 −10 49 19th of 22 Lee Morris 6 QR4 R1 323
2012–13 Conference North 6 42 17 9 16 57 53 +4 56 †† 9th of 22 †† Omar Bogle 15 QR3 R2 239
2013–14 Conference North 6 42 17 14 11 63 52 +11 65 8th of 22 Omar Bogle 18 QR4 QR3 430
2014–15 Conference North 6 42 16 7 19 68 63 +5 55 12th of 22 Omar Bogle 29 QR2 R1 463
2015–16 National League North 6 42 25 10 7 84 48 +36 85 1st of 22
Promoted as champions
Akwasi Asante 17 QR3 R1 671
2016–17 National League 5 46 15 10 21 62 75 −13 55 16th of 24 Akwasi Asante 11 R2 R1 1,009

Farsley Celtic resigned from the league mid-season and their record was subsequently expunged, leaving 21 teams in the league.[30]
†† Solihull Moors deducted 3 points for fielding an ineligible player.[31]

Honours

Records

See also

References

  1. ^ "Birmingham & Solihull Bees in shape for new rugby season". Solihull News. 22 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Solihull Moors FC Fanzone
  3. ^ "Solihull and Moor Green to merge". The Conference Guide. 5 April 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2007. 
  4. ^ "Bees to groundshare with Moors". Birmingham Post. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Birmingham & Solihull receive Championship green light". BBC Sport. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  6. ^ http://www.solihullnews.net/sport/rugby-union/birmingham--solihull-bees-shape-6043565
  7. ^ http://www.solihullmoorsfc.co.uk/pages.php?page_id=1315
  8. ^ http://www.fchd.info/SOLIHULM.HTM
  9. ^ http://www.solihullmoorsfc.co.uk/pages.php?page_id=1315
  10. ^ http://www.solihullmoorsfc.co.uk/pages.php?page_id=1315
  11. ^ "Solihull Moors manager Bob Faulkner dies aged 60". Birmingham Mail. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  12. ^ "Moore gives up everything for the Stags". Nottingham Post. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  13. ^ http://www.fchd.info/SOLIHULM.HTM
  14. ^ http://www.solihullmoorsfc.co.uk/pages.php?page_id=1315
  15. ^ http://fchd.info/cups/birminghamsummary.htm
  16. ^ "Bignot Handed Moors Post". Pitchero. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "New Solihull Moors boss looks to his past for inspiration". Birmingham Mail. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  18. ^ http://www.solihullmoorsfc.co.uk/pages.php?page_id=1315
  19. ^ http://www.birminghamcityladiesfc.co.uk/news/move_to_moors.html#hXYhusQ1LrwLWOoQ.97
  20. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36028185
  21. ^ http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-senior-cup-final-birmingham-11291593
  22. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36930596
  23. ^ http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/sport/football/news/southport-fc-players-fashion-disaster-11982350
  24. ^ http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/fa-cup-yeovil-town-in-first-round-has-ingredients-for-cup-upset-says-solihull-moors-manager/story-29822451-detail/story.html
  25. ^ http://mobile.grimsby-townfc.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/marcus-bignot-new-grimsby-town-manager-3403023.aspx
  26. ^ http://www.solihullmoorsfc.co.uk/teams.php
  27. ^ "New Stadium Sponsorship Deal". Solihull Moors F.C. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  28. ^ "Champions League Football Comes To Solihull". Solihull Today. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  29. ^ http://www.solihullmoorsfc.co.uk/news/details.php?news_id=12657#news
  30. ^ "The End for Farsley". Football Conference. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  31. ^ http://www.chesterfc.com/news/article/solihull-moors-points-deduction-851349.aspx
  32. ^ "Report: Tranmere Rovers 9–0 Solihull Moors". Tranmere Rovers FC. Retrieved 8 April 2017. 
  33. ^ http://www.thefinalball.com/match.php?id=303458
  34. ^ http://www.isthmian.co.uk/archive2028-match-info/match-centre/2-14672
  35. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41450868

External links

  • Official website

Coordinates: 52°26′19.99″N 1°45′26.07″W / 52.4388861°N 1.7572417°W / 52.4388861; -1.7572417

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