Simon Moore owes a lot to his idol. Growing up on the Isle of Wight in the 90s, Moore used to religiously watch his father’s team, Brading Town and particularly goalkeeper Steve Lawton. “I just wanted to be like him. He’s probably the reason I ended up being a goalkeeper.”
Lawton never made it beyond non-league football, but in stark contrast Moore is enjoying the form of his career at League One side Brentford having joined in the summer of 2009. “A man called Dennis Cooper put my name forward for a trial at Brentford when Andy Scott was manager. Thankfully, the trial went really well and it’s just gone from there.” Understatement of the century.
Walking out at Wembley in just your fourth professional game is surely one of the greatest moments of a footballer’s career? “It was an unbelievable experience…it’s every lad’s dream to play at Wembley and I found myself very lucky. I hope I can get back there again one day because the result was thoroughly disappointing but the experience was unbelievable.” The way he smiles says it all.
Nevertheless, his dream could have stayed just that had he pursued a career in teaching before his ‘big break’. The goalkeeper explains how he would have “gone to university and…become a teacher” after enjoying a part-time job as a teaching assistant on the Isle of Wight. Thankfully for the West London club, he chose his passion.
Moore credits Richard Lee, the former Watford goalkeeper, with having the greatest influence on his career since turning professional. Brentford favourite Lee, who has previously battled severe confidence issues, has aided Moore with “the mental and the physical side of football”, culminating in Lee’s ‘protégé’ staking a claim for the number one shirt with a series of eye-catching performances this season. “I wouldn’t say there’s any pressure”, he smiles “I’ve enjoyed learning and improving…and I just want to become a better goalkeeper. The only way to do that is to play games.”
And there is concrete evidence that the young stopper is proving his worth; selection in the League One Team of the Week already this campaign. “I worked really hard over the pre-season…it’s fantastic. You…do your best and it’s nice to get the little rewards.” His average of 1.13 goals conceded per game this season demonstrates how his efforts can propel ‘the Bees’ to the playoffs, perhaps further.
“I just want to be playing at the highest level… hopefully that’s with Brentford.” And with teammates such as Adam Forshaw and Harry Forrester, Moore has high hopes for the future. “Top six. That’s always been our aim…and if we continue the way we are, then we’ll have every chance.”
At the time of writing, Moore has just signed a new three-year deal at Brentford; a sure sign of the sheer determination he puts into his game; as Randall R. McBride once said “Success will not lower its standard to us. We must raise our standard to success.” Watch this space.