Living the dream – Morgan revels in impressive Premier League rise

first_img“It has always been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League and I have done.” Jamaican international Wes Morgan has not only realised his dream, he is also flourishing, making up for lost time even, as he leads unlikely title contenders Leicester City on a dream campaign.In many ways, Morgan’s rise has mirrored that of his club. It would fit perfectly well in a fairy tale book – Leicester battling with the big boys this season after last year’s near relegation and Morgan struggling in the lower leagues before making his top-flight debut at 30.”I thought the opportunity to play in the Premier League had passed me by. Everyone wants to play at the highest level, and it took a lot longer than I anticipated and wanted, but I got there eventually. I am enjoying it a lot!” Morgan said.He is today considered one of the most reliable defenders in the English Premier League, but it didn’t always look to be heading in that direction for the towering defender.Morgan was an awkward teenager, overweight with knees that rubbed together – hardly the model look for a footballer.He arrived at Nottingham Forest in 2002 after being cut from Notts County and spending a couple years at Dunkirk in the lower leagues.His arrival at Forest on trial was hardly an ‘arrival’ in truth, with then academy director John Pemberton admitting to hiding the out-of-shape-looking Morgan from the head coach for several months.The defender would eventually whip himself into shape and worked his way into a first team position at the club.”Getting released wasn’t nice. It was hard to take, but I remained positive and I got a trial at Forest, and that was an opportunity to get back into it, and that’s where it all started,” Morgan reminisced to bbc.com.He would end up moving to Leicester after a decade at Forest, where he had developed a reputation has a hard-nosed, studs-to-ankle type of defender. Exactly what the Foxes’ coaching staff was looking for.KEY FACTOREighteen months after making his Premier League debut, Morgan’s strength at the back has been a key factor in Leicester’s table-topping season.The defender is averaging 2.7 interceptions; 1.1 tackles; 5.3 clearances and 1.1 blocks per game to rank among the best in the league.But his focus is on the team and what they can achieve this season.”To be in the position we are in is an achievement in itself. Anything that happens now is definitely a bonus. People tipped us to be relegated at the start of the season, and we are competing at the top of the league,” said Morgan.”We are just delighted with how things have gone so far.”We have a real confidence and belief and know that on our day we can be as good, if not better, than anyone out there in this league,” he added.The Jamaican international has not forgotten his roots either and spends his weekdays coaching youngsters, perhaps with his mind on his own struggles at that stage.last_img read more

‘He’s our MVP:’ Perpetual living and dying with Prince Eze

first_imgLATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “The whole game he raised his MVP numbers,” said Lim. “He’s our MVP.”“He’s a very important player in our system and we’re glad that he’s responding to the minutes given to him and everybody knows that we’ll live and die with Prince.”It was under Lim’s tutelage that Ekwe and Daniel became such dominating forces in the NCAA as the two big men each shared and MVP plum.Lim said that he was always happy to see his foreign players reach their full potential.“When I handled Ekwe we maximized him and when he wanted to shoot outside shots we let him and we went the same path with Sudan,” said Lim. “If you want to do stuff in the game you just have to consistently practice.”ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum There are a couple of things that always resonate when the name Frankie Lim is mentioned: first is winning championships and the second is having a dominant big man.ADVERTISEMENT Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)01:02Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening03:34PH’s Carlo Paalam boxing light flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lim was the architect of the San Beda dynasty in the early 2000s winning four NCAA titles with the Red Lions and he had two of the generation’s most talented big men anchoring his team during those championship runs.Sam Ekwe and Sudan Daniel were the undisputed bosses of the red-laden paint during Lim’s time with San Beda and the multi-titled coach may  have just found his new main man in Prince Eze.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissLim is now the head coach of University of Perpetual Help in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament and he had Eze in full display during their 85-77 overtime win against San Sebastian Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre.Eze played every minute of the game and finished with a monstrous 25-point, 23-rebound double-double, a line so marvelous that Lim foresaw the birth of his third most valuable player. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Surprise visit from recovering Balanza brings out best from Letranlast_img read more