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Solihull Moors: 10 Things

Posted by Ben Guzdek
Posted on Wed 21 Mar 2018
Posted in First Team

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.

In November 2007 the club announced a partnership with National Division One rugby union club Pertemps Bees. 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. The ground sharing arrangement came to an end in 2012, as Bees dropped into the fourth tier of English Rugby Union. As a relic of that short-lived ground sharing 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.

The Moors reached new heights under Marcus 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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.

Damson Park is 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 two miles north of Solihull town centre, next to the Land Rover car plant.

Damson Park has two seated stands on either side of the pitch, and a covered stand of mixed seating and terracing at the south-eastern 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.

Damson Park 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. 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. 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.

Read more posts by Ben Guzdek

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