by Paul Smith
More than a few Birmingham Moseley greats have worn the club’s No.11 and No.14 shirts down the years.
The likes of Alan Thomas and John Goodwin graced the amateur era, while in more recent times wide men Nathan Bressington and Ed Sheldon both hit the headlines through their try-scoring exploits.
But even these luminaries went nowhere close to matching Aquile Smith’s first three games in Red-and-Black.
Just four hours into the National One season, the club’s pacy left winger has already claimed an incredible six tries thanks to a brace of Billesley Common hat-tricks against his first club, Hull Ionians, and Bishop’s Stortford.
Reflecting on this whirlwind start, which has played a big part in Moseley’s rise to fifth in the fledgling table, Smith modestly deflects the plaudits coming his way.
“It’s not been the worst start to my Moseley career,” he laughs, “but to be honest I really just finish off the hard work done by the forwards.
“We all have our roles; the forwards’ job is to get us into the last third of the pitch and when I get the ball five or ten metres out my job is to put points on the board for the team.
“We worked hard on a few things in training on Thursday and they came to fruition against Bishop’s Stortford which just left me to finish things off.”
Like most of Adam Balding’s squad, Smith arrived in Birmingham over the summer – in his case after a spell playing in the British Universities competition and the Championship while studying for a masters degree at Hartpury.
And he is already encouraged by the opening salvos fired by Mose’s newly-assembled line-up.
“It’s a new team and we’re building week on week,” he says. “What’s really pleasing is that aspects of our performance against Bishop’s Stortford you would normally only see from established groups who have been together for some time.
“We really had to ‘put the dog in’ and work hard for each other to get the win in the closing stages. To pull that off only three weeks into the season is really promising, and if we can build on that then we’ll have a good season.
“Only four or five players remain from last season and the coaching team are all new. Their recruitment has created a good blend - we’re enjoying being together in training, but when we come on to the pitch we all know it’s business time.
“Working with (Head Coach) Pete Glackin has been really good – he puts the onus on us as players then adds his experience. He encourages his players to problem solve and we did that really well when we coped with three yellow cards against Stortford.”
Smith already has plenty of fans among the Billesley faithful and his newly-appointed captain, Jonny Arr, is numbered among them.
“Aquile has been outstanding – without him we probably wouldn’t have two wins from two at home,” the former Worcester Warrior said.
“He’s a lad who’s been given an opportunity by Adam Balding, and so far he’s showing how good he can be. Give him some space and he’s deadly, which is exactly what you need from your wingers.”
Picture Dan Bellenger
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