Report by Bradley Rice.
Rubyn Gill knows more than most about the ups and downs that football can bring, writes Bradley Rice.
He knows the setbacks involved in the game and suffered disappointment when he was released by Leicester in the summer.
Gill is now enjoying his first season with Moors and has gone from playing in midfield to becoming a striker.
His recent flurry of goals shows he has learned much this season, although not all of his schooling has come on the pitch.
After his experiences at a professional club, Rubyn knows how quickly a contract can be snatched away and recognises that having an alternative to football, is vital.
“You’ve always got to have a back-up plan,” he said.
“It’s a good scheme at Solihull. Of course we all want to be footballers but the harsh reality is, it’s a small margin that make it.
“It’s good to have something you can fall back on. You need to think of yourself and think ahead to the future.”
Rubyn is currently in his third year of studying a BTEC in sport and is fully aware of the importance of getting a good education.
“Sport can open up so many different pathways,” hee said. “You can get involved in coaching or teaching.
“Moving forward, even if I don’t make it in football, I think I will always stay within sports because that’s where my passion lies.”
At times, Rubyn admits it can be hard finding a balance between playing and studying.
“It is difficult, but you have to find a way to manage both the work and football side of things.
“Sometimes when you have training and you know you have assignments to catch up on, it can be challenging, but if you are committed, it’s definitely achievable.
“At the end of the day, if you are going to have success, you need to get your head down and work hard. It’s as simple as that.”
The program allows regular access to football but only if the players fulfil their responsibilities as students at the college.
“As long as you are handing in your work on time, and you are attending lessons, then you are available to play.
“If you are showing your commitment in the classroom, then your reward is being in the team.”
Education and football go hand in hand at Solihull Moors. The scheme ensures that Moors’ bright young stars are ready to deal with the trials and tribulations football has to offer.
Meanwhile, Moors Academy continue to excel as they made it six on the bounce after overcoming Coton Green 5-1 on Saturday.
In a game marred by a serious injury to Coton’s Paul Bonnar, Moors dealt with the extended delay much better than the home side and went on to seal a comfortable win.
The scoreline makes it appear an emphatic victory for Sam Manoochehri’s side but in truth, up until the stoppage in play, there was little to choose between the teams.
Moors started bright but it was Coton who took an early lead when Bonnar punished a Moors mistake.
After seizing on the loose ball forty yards from goal, Bonnar produced a sublime lob which had Ben Maxwell beaten all ends up.
Coton’s advantage didn’t last long though, as Moors reacted brilliantly to going a goal down and within a minute, were back level.
Nathan Binner’s initial effort was foiled, but he was the first to the rebound. He cut it back to Keziah Martin, who found a gap and calmly stroked the ball home.
On recent form, you would have banked Moors to push on from there, but Coton were every bit their match.
All the pressing came from the home side and it was only stubborn Moors defending that kept the score at one apiece.
In spite of Coton’s sustained pressure, it was Moors who struck next.
Coton’s inability to deal with a simple long ball had Arman Khooshkoo bearing down on goal.
Khooshkoo dallied, but got away with his hesitancy, as a Coton defender swiped his legs from under him. The referee had no option but to point to the spot.
Moors’ striker picked himself up and from twelve yards, he confidently sent the keeper the wrong way.
It was a blow for Coton who had played well but found themselves trailing at the break.
Then twenty minutes from time, with the score at 2-1, came the turning point of the match.
It looked innocuous at first but from the moment Bonnar hit the ground, you could see he was in considerable distress.
The physio raced onto the pitch, quickly followed by the manager and then, soon after, the stretcher.
A suspected fracture to the right ankle was the verdict.
It led to a lengthy pause in the game and once it restarted, there was only going to be one winner.
Jordon Clarke, who continues his road to recovery, made another telling contribution from the Moors bench. Coton tired and Clarke dazzled with his explosive pace.
After ghosting past three defenders, he threaded a ball through to Rubyn Gill who was faced with an onrushing goalkeeper.
Gill was the braver of the two and ended up poking into an empty net.
Moors weren’t finished there and neither was Clarke. He laid on two more assists in a cameo that you feel guarantees his place in the starting eleven next game.
The first was an inch perfect pass to Gill who expertly lifted the ball over the keeper to grab his second brace in as many matches.
Then, Clarke laid it on a plate for substitute Mahmood to tap home and make it five.
It was another goal laden display for Sam’s side but a win that was somewhat overshadowed by the injury suffered by Bonnar.
It put a dampener on the victory, but nonetheless Moors’ winning streak continues and brimming full of confidence, Sam’s young side fear no one.
Bradley Rice can be found writing for his blog – Half-Time Oranges – where he provides original insights into the beautiful game from a number of different angles, all sharing the same trend of focusing on real stories from real people.
He can also be found providing live tweets and content for Solihull Moors Academy side @MoorsAcademy