Will Moore be merrier after deciding to fly the Brentford nest?

Simon Moore’s move to the Premier League with Cardiff City surprised many.

Both he and Brentford had expected him to continue building on what was only his first full season as a number one goalkeeper.

Instead, Moore was thrust into a difficult decision – one faced by many talented young players.

And he opted to take a more lucrative contract and a chance to prove himself in the top division.

But has he made the right choice? Could his move be premature?

It is difficult to criticise a young player when the Premier League comes calling.

But in deciding to go now, Moore has switched rapidly from being first choice at Brentford to third choice behind two experienced goalkeepers at Cardiff.

It is questionable, at this stage in his career, whether Moore has made the right decision to leave so soon.

Playing in the top flight is, of course, part of Moore’s ambitions but his ultimate dream is simple; he wants to be England’s goalkeeper.

But in order to achieve that, his development is paramount and playing regularly as a first-choice goalkeeper is far more beneficial for him than simply having a top-class facility to train at.

Richard Lee has been a mentor to Moore.
Richard Lee has been a mentor to Moore.

If he doesn’t play, what’s the point?

Moore’s many admirers include former England keeper David James, who told West London Sport in February he believed Moore could play for his country.

But James also pointed out that Moore’s progress was largely the result of playing regularly. To continue that progress now is a major challenge.

Furthermore, it is even more important for young players to have the right people around them; the right coaches and the right environment, and Moore’s environment at Brentford was exceptional.

In Richard Lee, he had an experienced mentor, while Simon Royce is a respected goalkeeping coach.

Both of them contributed greatly to his development over the past few seasons.

Lee and Royce will be hoping Moore has not sacrificed this positive, nurturing environment for one that could be far less personal and could see him fall by the wayside.

Moore’s significant improvement last term was also down to consistent first-team appearances – 52 of them by the end of the campaign.

His form and Lee’s injury problems meant Moore was able to flourish in a winning team competing for automatic promotion to the Championship.

Many young English players have left Premier League clubs in order to gain what Moore has relinquished – regular first-team football in the League.

In fact, there are two very good examples in Moore’s former Brentford team-mates Adam Forshaw and Jake Bidwell, both of whom decided to permanently leave Everton and play first-team games for Brentford instead.

With their personal development and futures in mind, both saw no contest between regular first-team experience for a club that seems to be moving forward, and struggling to break into a top-flight side.

John Ruddy has impressed for Norwich.
John Ruddy has impressed for Norwich.

It is important to remember Moore has no experience of a Premier League academy, nor an England youth set-up – this is a first for him.

Unfortunately the extensive list of non-playing English goalkeepers in the Premier League also suggests Moore faces a tough task.

Joe Hart has been mentioned as a yardstick, while Ben Foster was also first-choice at West Brom last season.

John Ruddy and Mark Bunn shared the goalkeeping duties at Norwich while Alex McCarthy became the number one at Reading.

But there was a plethora of English goalkeepers who either had to move out on loan to the Championship to get games, or who simply sat on the bench.

Fulham’s David Stockdale moved to Hull City while a recent England call-up, Jack Butland, opted to stay at Birmingham on loan despite completing a move to Stoke.

Meanwhile, former England number one Rob Green lost his place at QPR, Ross Turnbull could not get near the Chelsea team and Kelvin Davis, Carlo Nash, Ben Amos and Richard Wright struggled to get games at Southampton, Norwich, Manchester United and Manchester City respectively.

These keepers are wasting their talents on the training ground and in reserve games and they could and should be playing regularly for teams further down the leagues.

It is the only way to keep improving, get the most from their careers and, for many, keep alive that dream of one day playing for their country.

Butland, using Birmingham for this, is a perfect example.

Moore could, of course, end up taking a similar step down at some point in order to continue his development.

And if that were to happen, it would surely call into question his decision not to simply continue that development at Brentford.



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