AFTER five seasons with Gresley, including back to back promotions and some great FA Vase runs, this summer I knew it was time to progress. I accepted an offer I couldn’t refuse and took the step up to the Conference North with Solihull Moors under the management of the ambitious Marcus Bignot.
I was sad to leave Gresley, but it was an easy decision to choose Solihull.
The first thing some of my friends said when I moved to Solihull was “you will be on Football Manager next season then!”
I’m more of a FIFA fan but I am sure I’ll buy the new Football Manager when it arrives to laugh at the stats!
Anyone who knows the gaffer (Bignot) will tell you how passionate and motivated he is to do well.
He has had a long successful playing career at some big name clubs such as QPR and Millwall, and is great to work under as he was a full-back like me, and he provides me with lots of information and help.
He is easy to approach if I’m unsure on anything and will always help you whatever you need.
His knowledge is very helpful to me and will make me a better player mentally as well as psychically.
We began with a rigorous pre-season programme to get us ready for the start of the season and it paid off with wins at home and away, only losing to Birmingham City.
The lads have are all been welcoming and have helped me fit in from day one which is nice.
There are a few characters in the dressing room who keep the squad on their toes!
There are always a few of the lads winding people up and playing practical jokes during training.
But they are good for a club and what every team needs.
We have a few funny ideas to get money in our Christmas pot such as if you are megged during the session you have to pay a small amount into a fines kitty.
It is all good fun and goes towards us going out on team bonding nights or days.
The squad is very gifted with talent, hard work and a winning mentality, which is the reason for a great start to the season and also through pre-season.
We began the season away to one of the league contenders, Guiseley AFC, who have finished in the play-offs for the last three years running.
We won the game – a comfortable 3-0 away from home – after dominating for long spells.
It was my full debut for Solihull and it couldn’t have started better as I raced through and scored the opener in the first four minutes of the game, which set us up for a solid away win to start the season.
Playing in the Conference is a good achievement for me and shows that my hard work over the past couple of seasons with Gresley has paid off.
I’m enjoying the challenge and feel I am benefitting massively playing against better opposition.
It is definitely more challenging and there is a lot of talent at this level, some of the teams we play are full-time clubs which invest massively.
The training is very good and is all specific to what we need as a team – and it is proving worthwhile.
The next three games in the league – two at home and one away – all resulted in draws, against Histon, Oxford City and AFC Telford United. Our promising start to the season continued in our fifth game at home against Vauxhall Motors as we recorded a solid 1-0 win, making it three clean sheets from five games.
On Saturday, we travelled to Stalybridge Celtic and recorded another away win, 3-2, although that makes the match sound closer than it was. This capped off our brilliant start so far to the season and leaves the Moors in sixth place, undefeated with three wins and three draws on 12 points.
This Saturday we are at home to North Ferriby United where we aim to remain undefeated at the Autotech Stadium and get three more points on the board.
Next week, we hear from rower Ben Eames.