Report by Bradley Rice
Moors Academy left back Ethan Sephton has been leading by example ever since he was made captain at the start of the season, writes Bradley Rice.
Ethan’s leadership skills were put under scrutiny when Moors U21’s coach Sam Manoochehri took the decision to hand him the armband.
“I’d never been in that position before, Sam has given me a lot of responsibility,” said Ethan.
“Last season, I was a bit quiet, I wasn’t vocal enough and I wasn’t imposing myself on the game.
“Being made captain has forced me to be more of a central figure, to be that player that pushes the team on, when we are in a rough patch.”
The eighteen-year-old is very honest in assessing his own ability and admits it took time to adapt to his new role in the team.
“It’s been tough, very tough,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say I am a natural leader so being captain has really tested me but it has definitely helped me become a better player.”
It’s not the first test Ethan has faced at Moors. Last season marked his first season in the men’s league and he experienced a baptism of fire.
“It was difficult last year, I found it tough going and I struggled at first,” he admitted.
“In this league, you are coming up against men, they are looking at you like a little kid, you have to stand up and be counted.
“I wasn’t used to players being so physical. Playing against men is completely different to playing against lads your own age.”
Ethan was now coming up against much more experienced opponents and it was a question of sink or swim.
“I worked really hard to change my game,” he said. “I took it upon myself to adapt to playing against men.
“I made sure I was physically stronger and became more aggressive in the tackle.
“This year I am competing much better. I have definitely noticed an improvement in my game.”
Meanwhile, Moors Academy provided a real touch of class last weekend when they ran out 4-1 winners against Knowle.
The Moors had too much for Knowle, who were unable to deal with Solihull’s superior verve and youthful exuberance.
Reiss McNally got Solihull off to a flyer, bursting into the box and producing a cultured finish past the keeper after only five minutes gone.
Moors had their tails up but the hosts evened the score against the run of play.
Robins forward Bridges controlled the ball on his chest before acrobatically dispatching the ball into the far corner of the net.
It allowed the home side to grow into the game, becoming a much more even contest with chances for both to go in front.
A clever corner routine worked an opening for McNally but the keeper got down low and denied him with a strong left hand.
Ben Maxwell was then called into action, reacting quickly to tip a volley over the bar.
The introduction of the returning Jordon Clarke added an extra zip to the proceedings after the break.
Rubyn Gill’s first touch was sublime and his curling finish into the top corner to re-take the lead for Moors was nothing short of exquisite.
From then on in, there was only going to be one winner.
Gill was now brimming with confidence and soon grabbed his second of the game, Arman Khooshkoo slide pass found him and he slotted past the keeper with ease.
Although unable to get his name on the scoresheet, Clarke did claim an assist on his return from injury, laying one on a plate for Khooshkoo to tap home Moors’ fourth.
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