As Moors started 2014 they sat on top of the Conference North league, the highest position in the club’s history and indeed that of its predecessors Moor Green and Solihull Borough. January was, however, to prove a calamitous month with just one point recorded but an eighth place league finish was the best so far and the points total of 65 the highest since the formation of the club.
The new season saw the departure of two stalwarts in the shape of goalkeeper Jas Singh and central defender Stuart Pierpoint and manager Marcus Bignot moved swiftly to sign Tony Breeden and Liam Daly from Leamington to fill the gap.
Together with most of the previous season’s team the “new” squad started the season slowly but with September came a run of results which catapulted Moors back into the play-off positions and with 40 points from 22 games they sit comfortably in the fifth and last play-off position as they contemplate the second half of the campaign which kicks off on New Years day away at Tamworth.
Off the pitch Solihull Moors have transformed themselves into a Community Interest Club which, coupled with the success on the pitch, has seen gates double. Moors now run some 25 teams and are bringing football to people and youngsters in the borough who otherwise would struggle to play football. This, plus financial stability, has made the whole club a happy place to be – but it is just the start.
During the first half of the season there have been a number of highlights:
* Ryan Beswick became the first ever Solihull Moors player be awarded the Vanarama Conference North Player of the Month for October. Ryan has made 164 appearances for the Moors and his goal tally stands at 56. A product of the Leicester City Academy, his performances go from strength to strength in this his sixth season with the club.
* Omar Bogle became the first Moors player to represent his country when he made his debut for the England C team as they took on Estonia’s Under 23 side. Omar opened the scoring after just four minutes and nodded down for Beautyman to notch number two. He was substituted mid way through the second half but not before seeing his shot blocked off the line; he left the pitch to a tumultuous reception from the crowd.
Omar credits his success to his Moors team mates “the best team I have ever played for” and to the guidance of Moors manager Marcus Bignot
* Marcus Bignot: It was a very proud day for Marcus back in November when he was awarded the Vanarama Football Conference Manager of the Month award for October.
The month had seen Moors in an unbeaten run take 13 from a possible 15 points which resulted in their rise to third position and play-off position in the league table.
This is his fourth season in the hot seat during which time he has transformed a struggling side to an established top half team.
He served his apprenticeship with Birmingham City before joining Telford United where he made 149 appearances.
After a year with Kidderminster Harriers during which he was capped by the England C team, Marcus went on to an illustrious professional career with Crewe Alexandra, Bristol Rovers, Queens Park Rangers amd Millwall.
It was no surprise that Telford recently asked for permission to discuss their mangament vacancy but Marcus declined, saying: “It’s flattering to be the subject of such an approach, but we have been on a journey together at this football club. It is growing and going in the right direction.
“Although I am ambitious, I feel that the club has shown commitment to me by adding Stefan Moore to our squad and this is my way of demonstrating commitment to them.”