SOLIHULL Moors have handed first professional contracts to a number of the club’s Elite Academy players ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Moors have rewarded 12 players with their first professional deals – Morgan Owen, Finn Howell, Kian Ryley, Leo Wood, Joel Shambrook, Max Martin, Tyler Bruck, Taylor Eades, Ashton De Mulder, Harry Chesterton, Jack Myatt and Fin Barker.
The club’s Elite Academy won the treble of Floodlit League, SCL Youth League and the Joel Richards Memorial Cup last season.
And five players made their first-team debuts for Moors last term, making a combined total of 15 appearances.
Moors Elite Academy coach Mike Fowler said: “First of all I’m delighted for the individuals and the hard work they’ve put in, it gives them an opportunity to showcase their potential and reward them for the successes they’ve had.
“The club, the owners and the stakeholders are showing faith in these players and in the programmes we’re running to ensure that these players can reach their potential.
“We’re supporting them at a very difficult age, where a lot of clubs have made snap decisions on 18-year-old’s, and they end up coming back through (the system) at 21-years-old.
“They’re showing incredible patience and belief in that system to ensure that we have homegrown talent coming through, we’ve already seen the success on the pitch and long may that continue.”
Director of Football, Stephen Ward, added: “As a club we are extremely proud to have witnessed the growth and development of these players over the years culminating in them signing their first professional contracts.
“The Elite Academy is something that we as a club take enormous pride in. The pathway it provides these young players into first team football is fantastic.
“A huge amount of credit must go to Head of Elite Youth Development Mike Fowler who oversees a brilliant programme.
“We continue to see the academy grow year by year and a special thank you to the owner, shareholders and everyone involved.”
Defender Shambrook said: “It’s an amazing feeling to sign my first professional contract for the club after working my way through the academy.
“I’m excited to be involved with the squad everyday as they’re a great bunch of lads who’ll help me strive and improve as a player on and off the pitch.”
Kian Ryley who joined the club as a 14-year-old, added: “I’m absolutely delighted to sign my first professional contract at Moors.
“It’s been my aim since I joined the club as a 14-year-old boy, all the hard work has finally paid off and I can’t wait to keep working hard to make the step up for myself and the team.”
Another academy graduate, Max Martin said: “I’m delighted to sign a professional contract for the club after coming through the Elite Academy, it’s something I’ve always aspired to do.
“I’m a local lad, from Solihull who has grown up watching the Moors, so to sign with them is a very proud moment for me and my family which I’m grateful for.”