FOOTBALL: NEW SOLIHULL Moors manager Liam McDonald is determined to pick up where he predecessor Marcus Bignot left off and guide the club towards a successful era in the National League.
The 31-year-old is considered one of non-league football’s brightest young coaching talents having joined from Hednesford Town earlier this week to replace the out-going Bignot.
McDonald took charge of recently-relegated Hednesford in May and guided them to the top of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.
Prior to that, he spent three years rebuilding Redditch United into Evo-Stik Southern Premier League promotion contenders in his first managerial role.
In his first two seasons in charge, The Reds finished tenth and sixth respectively, lifting the Worcestershire Senior Cup in the former, before ending the 2015/16 campaign second, only to agonisingly lose out to Leamington in the play-offs.
“At the age of 31, the opportunity to manage Solihull was just too good to turn down,” enthused McDonald.
“I’m a young, ambitious manager who’s excited to carry on the good work Marcus Bignot has done over the years because he’s transformed this club.
“It’s a fantastic group of players that I’m looking forward to working with and, along with Nick and David, the experience Keith will add to the group will only help with my development.
“After speaking with the club, in particular Jed McCrory, the ideas and what they are striving to achieve at this football club made me want to be a part of it. The experience guys like Jed have are invaluable not only to the future of Solihull Moors but also my development.”
McDonald began his playing career at Worcester City, amassing nearly 100 games, before turning out for Hednesford, Barwell, Kettering Town and Tamworth, where he was a member of The Lambs’ famous run to the FA Cup third round proper.
He eventually arrived at Redditch where he hung up his playing boots to take up management at the age of 27.
He brings to Moors a new-look management team in the shape of Nick Green as his assistant manager and David Bridgwater who takes on a coaching role.
His arrival comes just days after Moors confirmed that former Birmingham City striker Keith Bertschin will become the club’s new head coach.
Bertschin brings a wealth of experience to Moors having worked as Steve Bruce’s assistant over a nine-year period in the top two tiers of English football at Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic, Sunderland and Hull City.
The former striker turned out for 17 clubs in professional and non-league football across a 26 career which included three England Under-21 caps.
But he will be known locally after chalking up almost 150 appearances for the Blues between 1977 and 1981, where he helped them win promotion to the top flight.
Bertschin will be supported in his new role by club captain Theo Streete, goalkeeping coach Darren Acton and academy manager Mark Fogarty.