Solihull Moors Elite Academy Retain Midlands Floodlit Southern Premier League Title!

The Elite Academy secured their third Midlands Floodlit League title following an 8-0 win over Stratford Town to wrap up the title on Wednesday evening.

Elite Academy coach, Fin Hodson-Cox expressed how proud he was over his side who have experienced a rollercoaster of a season: “It’s probably been the longest season yet.”

“It’s certainly been a bit of a rollercoaster up and down. It's always going to be tough winning it back-to-back and having to deal with the pressure of having the crown and everyone wanting to shoot for you. Everyone wanting to knock you down.”

“I'm proud of the lads. I think they've been superb season, even going back to September, making the second round of the FA Youth Cup and unfortunately losing out in the last kick of the game.”

“But then they've come back from that and I think by one game we've gone unbeaten since we've come out of the FA Youth Cup, which just shows how strong the group is, the together nurse. As soon as they get a bit of momentum they can really zone in and go for it.”

“And, and they've showed that. We picked up some big results along the way. Everything was against us, but they kept going and going, picking up results, going about our business nice and quietly and, and we've got there in the end. So, I’m really delighted for the lads. They deserve it for how hard they work. It’s been a great season all-round!”

The team that clinched the title with an empathic win over Stratford Town have been through a lot together, with injuries and suspensions taking their hit, but Hodson-Cox couldn’t be more pleased in the manner in which they retained their title.

The coach said: “As a group, the boys deserve it. They've, they've worked hard together. I still remember the day they come in for their first trial almost two and a half years ago. And the journey they've been on since that, they've developed physically, they've developed tactically technically, but the biggest thing for us is they've developed as people as well. And obviously that's one of the main parts of why we do what we do with the academy. Try and get that culture right and try and turn people into better people as well as better footballers. But they've always been a close-knit group.”

“They've been in it together, the highs, the lows last year, losing out on the title by point on the, on, in the Wednesday League, but almost not feeling like they'd won the flood lit because we used, obviously the second years at the time in the, in the bigger games.”

“So for them to stick together as a group, and achieve what they have this year, it's been superb. And as I touched on the FA Youth Cup, obviously we've got the cup final to look forward to, winning a league together. It's all memories that in five, 10 years’ time, they'll look back on and think, yeah, like, what a special group we had. And you keep friends in football forever. And like I said, in five, 10 years’ time, you might bump into someone and, and they're the memories you'll talk about. So yeah, as a group, I’m delighted for them!”

“But again, they all deserve it. They all work hard every single day. And they're a credit to, to us as the Elite Academy and credit to the club.”

There’s still more which could be won for the young Moors, with the Colin Lowe Memorial Cup still up for grabs for this group of talented players.

One thing that Hodson-Cox couldn’t be prouder of the culture that lays within the group, the coach told us how important it is to have the right mentality and work ethic within the squad.

Hodson-Cox said: “Touching back on the culture and the mentality of the lads, I think what's a great achievement for us and something we're really proud of, is that the lads will go through a brick wall for us and what we need.”

“So obviously at the minute we've got some lads away on an educational trip, and even yesterday when we won the league against Stratford, what a lot of people won't know and won't see is that eight lads went and played against Chesterfield in the day, drove straight back down, and then played again on the night. And that's, that's that mentality and that togetherness as a group, that they'll work hard together, and they'll grind it out.”

“But it shows that the culture within the clubs, right, and these lads want to work hard to achieve something.”