The players have been put through their paces and the pre-season grind is now over for the majority of teams at the Moors.

And with the 2021/22 campaign gathering momentum, now’s the perfect time to round-up the latest on-goings across the various sections of the club.

In Edition One of this season’s Read Moor bi-weekly round-up, there’s news on the Elite Academy, Women’s Team, Football & Education Programme, and the Solihull Moors Foundation…

Elite Academy

Solihull Moors sit joint-top of the Midland Floodlit Youth League Southern Division after picking up seven points from their opening three fixtures.

A flying start saw Moors put 10 past a Bromyard Town side away from home, before taking a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Stourport Swifts.

The team then played a first home fixture of the season on Monday evening, with their eyes firmly set on three points at Tally Ho.

Stourbridge were the visitors, and it wasn’t all plain sailing on the night as the Moors had to overcome a persistent Glassboys side.

Andrew Ugwueru’s brace either side of an Ashton Demulder goal was enough to give the side a 3-1 victory on a pleasing night for Mike Fowler and Stevie McCarthy-Campbell.

Ugwueru opened the scoring late into the first half, before Moors found themselves pegged back around the hour mark. Demulder then struck to re-gain Moors’ lead shortly after, before Ugwueru added gloss to the scoreline with a late third.

You can view the full list of fixtures and results from the MFYL side HERE

The pathway from the Elite to the First Team was reinforced once again as seven players took part in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Monday afternoon.

Two of those seven started the game, one of which scored, and the other five made appearances off the bench in another valuable experience for the group.

The first team names included the likes of Adam Rooney, James Ball, Alex Gudger and Lois Maynard, all of whom were able to pick up minutes on their way back to full fitness.

Women

The National League went goal crazy on Saturday afternoon with 50 goals scored in just 11 games, which included Moors’ seven-goal thriller against Weymouth.

After seeing the men’s action unfold the day before, the FA Women’s National League clearly wanted to top that on Sunday…

Moors Women welcomed Sporting Khalsa Women to the Abacus Lighting Community Arena, eager to produce a positive result after back-to-back losses.

And despite going two down early on, David Healey’s side showed fight to comeback and score not once, not twice, not three times, but four times before the interval.

Goals from Jess Lundie (2), Kathryn Pagan and Sigourney Gowlett ensured a 4-2 lead at half-time.

However, Khalsa themselves weren’t in any mood to throw the towel in and netted twice in the second-half to secure a 4-4 draw.

Speaking after the game, Head Coach Piers Webster said: “It was a frustrating game. We’re a ruthless team who aim to get three points out of every game.

“Today we played a very competitive and aggressive Sporting Khalsa side, and we knew what we were in for.

“For us, it was just disappointing that we couldn’t see ourselves over the line. It’s a building block for sure following results over the last couple of weeks, but it is frustrating as the hunger from the players to win games is immense.”

Moors Women have a short break from league action, as they travel to Stoke City Women in the League Cup on Sunday.

Football & Education

The Football and Education Programme at the club is run in partnership with Tudor Grange Academy.

We now have two sites, continuing with our provision at Kingshurst, and a new provision this year at Redditch.

At present, Moors have 59 students and three teams at Kingshurst with 12 students and one team running from Redditch. The students link their education with a training programme each afternoon and games played on a Wednesday.

Over the years the programme has been a huge success with players from the F&E signing for the first team, and opportunities offered to players from the current cohort this season including Andrew Ugwueru, Jordan Samuels and Niall Rooney.

Niall Rooney trains with the first team

The players have engaged in a few pre-season friendlies with victories over Carl Baker Academy (5-0), Derby County (0-5), Pro Direct (1-10), Watford (0-8), Kidderminster Harriers (1-2) and Birmingham City Community (9-0), with draws against Northampton Town (1-1) and Redditch United (2-2).

The students started their education for the year ahead on Monday, with the league campaign starting the week commencing Monday 13th September.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest Football & Education news on Instagram: @smfc_fep

Kingshurst: @smfcfep_tgak

Redditch: @smfcfep_tgar

Foundation

As announced last week, the Foundation are delighted to be part of the BBC’s Make a Difference Kit Out the Nation Campaign.

It runs for a month, and is aimed at taking in and distributing unwanted, good condition sports kit and getting it to children and teenagers who need it at a time when the pandemic has seen levels of exercise among young people plummet.

The campaign launched last Saturday and the Foundation would like to thank everyone who has been in touch offering their donations.

To arrange a drop off or for more information, please contact becci.fox@solihullmoorsfc.co.uk