NEW Solihull Moors manager Jimmy Shan says he is hopeful that the marriage of his ambitions with those of the club will lead to a successful future in the hotseat at the SportNation.bet Stadium.
The former West Bromwich Albion interim manager notably took the Baggies into the semi-finals of the Championship play-offs last season, before taking up the reins at Kidderminster Harriers on a voluntary contract in December last year.
After departing the National League North outfit following a 68-day spell in charge, the opportunity to make the step-up to a permanent position at the Moors was one that the 41-year-old was unable to turn down.
“I’m delighted now that it’s over the line and that I’m here,” said Shan.
“I’m very familiar with Solihull Moors. This is a progressive club, an ambitious club. I’m also an ambitious individual and hopefully it’ll be a nice marriage.
“Very quickly I got a feel for the direction this football club is heading in. It was a positive one and one that I want to be a part of.”
While the Moors have suffered from an indifferent run of form since the New Year, Tuesday night’s 1-0 win against Barnet – courtesy of a Terry Hawkridge penalty – have at least pushed the club into sixth place in the National League to give the new manager a platform to build on.
Solihull chairman Darryl Eales says Shan “understands the culture and ambition of Moors”, and was particularly impressed by his willingness to turn to youth.
“He is a strong believer in the development of young talent and will help continue the ongoing process of professionalising all aspects of the club,” he said.
“Above all else, Jimmy is a strong personality and a great character, and I am looking forward immensely to working with him.”
Current rumours suggest that Shan, who starting his coaching career with Birmingham City’s academy before a 13-year spell at West Brom, will bring in Richard Beale as his assistant.
Beale was involved in the academy set-up at Blues for 16 years, before departing to take up the reins as manager of Aston Villa’s youth team last summer.
In the midweek win, Moors held the upper hand over the visitors from North London throughout, but were only able to register the single goal from Hawkridge’s 19th-minute spot kick on the scoreboard.
A notable chance for Alex Gudger, who crashed a header against the crossbar, threatened to extend the hosts’ lead, while Ryan Boot made himself a hero with a tremendous last-gasp save four minutes from time to deny Callum Reynolds.
It gave Solihull a 14th win of the season, pitting them on 51 points and within reach of nearest rivals Boreham Wood (52pts, fifth), Yeovil Town (54pts, fourth) and FC Halifax Town (55pts, third).
The situation in the league would have looked much brighter, had Moors seen out their two-goal lead in an eventual 2-2 draw away to Bromley on Saturday.
A Chris Bush own-goal with 22 minutes remaining gave the visitors a priceless lead at Hayes Lane – not to mention a first goal in seven games – followed by a second from George Carline nine minutes later.
But when Frankie Raymond halved the deficit within seconds of the restart, a nervy finish was always likely and set-up for Corey Whitely to snatch a point for the Ravens in the third-minute of stoppage time.
The first task for Shan is a home game against tenth-placed Hartlepool on Saturday (3pm), a side who are gradually starting to make a claim for a play-off place after an upturn in results.