Solihull Moors are delighted to formally announce Neal Ardley as the club’s new first team manager.
The 48-year-old spent over six years in charge of AFC Wimbledon, guiding the Dons to Football League safety before gaining promotion to League One via the play-offs in 2015/16.
More recently, Ardley managed Notts County and came close to securing an immediate return to the Football League, narrowly missing out in the 2019/20 National League play-off final to Harrogate Town.
He departed Meadow Lane in March this year with the Magpies placed inside the play-offs, with several games in hand.
Ardley will be assisted at Moors by James Quinn, who has been promoted from his role as first-team coach to assistant manager.
The vastly experienced Greg Abbott, who was Ardley’s number two at Notts County, has joined Moors on a consultancy basis and his well-versed knowledge on player recruitment and match preparation will be a key focus.
As a player, Ardley spent most of his career with Wimbledon and made over 200 appearances across an 11-year period.
He also went on to represent Watford, Cardiff City and Millwall, and collected 10 caps for England at Under-21 level.
Speaking on his next challenge with the Moors, Ardley said:
“After leaving Notts County I was hoping my next job could be a project that would give me the chance to take a club forward.
“From day one after meeting Darryl (Eales), Tim (Murphy) and Craig (Cope) it was clear there’s a huge ambition to go alongside the wonderful story of Solihull Moors.
“I hope to add to the great work that’s been put in place and keep the club moving forward on and off the pitch.
“I’m really looking forward to starting with the players after their strong finish to last season, and working closely with Quinny and all the staff at the club.
“Alongside this, Greg Abbott’s huge knowledge and contacts will help the club attract and recruit even more quality to the squad. I’m excited to get going.”
Chairman Darryl Eales said:
“We are fortunate to have been able to attract a manager of Neal’s pedigree and track record.
“I first met Neal when he was at AFC Wimbledon, and I was Chairman of Oxford United. I would have liked to have appointed him as Oxford manager when Michael Appleton left to join Leicester City. At that time, I deemed it inappropriate to approach a manager at another club.
“It was serendipity when Notts County released Neal and I am absolutely delighted that we have persuaded Neal to join the Moors project.
“Not only is Neal a highly experienced and accomplished manager but he is also one of the most humble and genuine people I have met.
“I’m also delighted that Quinny will play a more central role in the coaching team and that we have secured the experience and know-how of Greg Abbott to assist our push for promotion next season.”
Neal will be meeting the media on Thursday afternoon and officially begins his role on 1st July.