FOOTBALL: DEFENDER Sean St Ledger has described his first few weeks at Solihull Moors as a ‘throwback’ after signing for the club on a two-month deal lasting until January.
The Irish international, who was born in Solihull, has played for clubs including Preston North End, Leicester City, and Orlando Rapids since taking up football professionally in 2002 when joining Peterborough.
But it’s only 15 years into his career that the 32-year-old has decided to attach himself to the familiar surroundings of Solihull, the town he was brought up and educated in.
St Ledger’s signing came prior to a nightmare week for Moors which not only saw them dumped out of the FA Cup to League Two side Wycombe Wanderers, but also the resignation of former manager Richard Money – who was in the Moors hotseat for just 26 days.
Moors find themselves bottom of the National League, six points adrift of 20th placed Guiseley.
Gary Whild, who’s currently in charge of the Moors while a suitable replacement is sourced, has watched his team win just three of their opening 18 contests having drawn two and lost 13 others.
But the signing of St Ledger shows one thing Moors have this season – intent to succeed.
Speaking to Observer sports editor Shaun Reynolds, St Ledger – who has based himself in Stratford – said he’s pleased to be back playing after a frustrating season off the pitch last year with injuries.
He said: “The most important thing for me is I’m back on the pitch. It didn’t really matter where. For me, I just wanted to play football.
“We can turn the season around. It’s been tough so far with managers resigning.
“But I’m coming in fresh and I thought we played good on Sunday.
“The most important thing for us now though is the league. If we start to play for 90 minutes then results will come.
“It’s time to start putting words into action. Our home form must be good if we’re to succeed in a relegation battle.
“The league is our priority. It was great to get to the first round of the FA Cup and play a Wycombe side that didn’t underestimate us – they were professional.
“We’re looking forward to Sutton this weekend, we’re going to focus on their weaknesses and try to pick some points up.”
St Ledger, who was involved in the controversial France vs Ireland World Cup Qualifier in 2009, hopes to bring a wealth of experience to the Moors side. And his CV certainly stands out having played with all-time footballing great, Kaka.
He has spent the past two seasons at Orlando City and Colorado Rapids, though his progress in North American was plagued by injury.
He said: “Playing in America was different. There’s different terminology to get used to and the weather is mostly nice which was a bonus.
“Playing with Kaka too, that was amazing and something I never expected.
“My second season in the States was frustrating as I had injury problems. But I’ve come through rehab well and it’s nice to be back playing football.”
Ultimately returning to his hometown club provided St Ledger with a hint of nosalgia.
“We train where I used to go to school so coming to Solihull is a throwback for me,” he said.
“It really reminds me of my childhood and I can’t believe how much the place has changed.
“One of my old school teachers even came to watch the game on Saturday. It’s been nice to catch up with people since I’ve come back.”
And regarding a return to Solihull, the defender is keeping his options open.
He said: “I’ve enjoyed my time at the Moors so far but I’m here until January.
“It’s an ideal scenario as we can make a decision as to whether I stay on at the time.”