Prior to tonight’s game with Solihull Moors, we spoke to the Chairperson of their Supporters Association, Gary Armstrong, to try and learn more about our opponents:
You had a fantastic 2018-19 season, finishing second and just three points off the champions Leyton Orient. Last season was a bit more of a struggle, yet you were still in the mix for a play-off spot prior to the season’s curtailment. How do you look back on the campaign overall?
It was a mixed-up season to be honest. We started off like a train, including a 6-1 away win at Chorley, then Jamey Osborne got injured and the wheels came off a bit
After nearly guiding you to the title in 2019, Tim Flowers left the club in January 2020. His style of play had its fair share of detractors. Was that down to the fact it had been so successful?
We didn’t care what people thought about the style of play – it was direct, but we were very good at it.
Jimmy Shan was his replacement. He’s been in the job for 8 months; though due to the long layoff he hasn’t actually been in charge for that many games. Despite that, what do you make of the job he has done so far?
One of the first things he did was to sign Adam Rooney, but the league was put on hold the following day, so we never got to see him play! He’s changed the playing style, so we’ll see.
Obviously covid happened in between. Just how badly has the pandemic affected Solihull Moors?
Has it affected Moors more than any other club? That’s difficult to say, but the chairman and other investors put a lot of money into the club before the outbreak and it must have been very frustrating for them seeing everything grind to a halt. Obviously, the staff were furloughed the players couldn’t train as a group, and there was no money coming in, so pretty devastating for Moors, same as for everyone else.
How would you rate the club’s transfer business – not just in the summer but also from the back end of last season? Adam Rooney, in particular, raised a lot of eyebrows.
Paul McCallum left the club to go on loan which was a bit of a shock, but Rooney was brought in as we were still in with a shout of a play-off place, but he didn’t get to appear in a single game. When the season was declared over, the club let it’s out of contract and loan players go, leaving eight or nine left on the books. We’ve signed mainly young players through the close season so we’re all looking forward to seeing how they do.
Ignoring Saturday’s result for a second, what is the expectation for Solihull Moors this season? I think many on the outside expect you to do quite well.
Not a great start at Woking, but I think we’ll end in the play-offs.
You mentioned the shock 2-1 defeat to Woking on Saturday. What happened? How would you assess the game?
A game of two halves. We were great to start and ended badly. If Rooney had played we would have won it.
Wrexham have signed no less than four ex-Solihull players over the summer: Adi Yussuf, Jamie Reckord, Kwame Thomas and Fiacre Kelleher. There’ no one better to ask: Are they good signings?
I was surprised we let Reckord go. Yes, they’re all good players. Yussuf can look lazy but he will get goals.
Who should Wrexham fans be looking out for from a Solihull perspective on Tuesday night?
Jamey Osborne – if he’s fit.
Adam Rooney also missed the Woking game. Do you know if he’ll be involved against Wrexham?
I really hope so!
Finally. Give us a score prediction.
Many thanks to Gary for giving us this insight into tonight’s opposition. You can find more about Gary and the Solihull Moors Supporters Association by searching ‘Solihull Moors Fans’ on Facebook, or by following them on Twitter (@MoorsFans).