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Former Claret Stephen Ward, who was assistant manager at Brackley last season, has taken up the role of director of football with National League club Solihull Moors.

Just yesterday, manager Neal Ardley left Solihull. It was unexpected but chairman Darryl Eales confirmed it was by mutual consent and amicable. He said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Neal over the past two seasons.”

The search for a new manager continues but today they confirmed the appointment of former Claret Stephen Ward as they new director of football. Now 37, Ward, who is taking a MSC Degree in Sporting Directorship through the Global Institute of Sport, retired from playing last summer after a season at Walsall.

On his new role, he said: “First of all, I am delighted to be here and get started in the role at Moors. After meeting the chairman, I was firstly impressed by him and his vision for the club, along with the clear ambition to progress and achieve Football League status.

“I was impressed by the set up both at the stadium and the training ground in Studley, as well as the club’s ambition to be the best both on and off the pitch. The club’s desire to be a first in class community club is one which resonates with me, as does its continuing aim to connect with the community.

“I hope to further this by strengthening the existing ties we have with Midlands based sides at both a professional and grass roots level. The club has established a viable pathway to its first team through the elite academy whose success is no more apparent than by several of its graduates making their professional debuts last season.

“I will use the knowledge that I have gained through my 20-year career, playing at the top level to help the club move forward in its aspirations both on and off the pitch.”

Eales said: “I’m delighted to welcome Stephen to Moors and believe we are fortunate to have an individual of his calibre in the newly created role of director of football. Alongside Stephen, we will appoint a head coach in the near future and, in the interim, James Quinn will welcome the players back to pre-season training.

“Stephen’s appointment is part of our programme of continuous improvement and he will oversee all our football activities. He buys in to Moors community club mentality and our ambition to try and achieve Football League status.

“Stephen will bring the highest standards of professionalism and work ethic to the club. Stephen is intelligent, articulate, well connected and well liked in the game and I look forward immensely to working with him.”

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