“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.
Month: February 2020
The strong batting prowess of teachers from the parish of St Catherine will be on display against the defending champions Westmoreland in the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA)/Errol Miller Twenty20 cricket final at the Ultimate Jerk Centre, Discovery Bay, St. Ann today at 1 p.m.Both teams emerged winners after the semi-finals played at the same venue on April 1.St Catherine defeated Portland by ten wickets in their semi-final. Batting first, Portland made 52 all out and St Catherine replied with 55 without loss.In the second semi-final, Westmoreland defeated St Andrew by five runs. Westmoreland made 132 for five before dismissing St Andrew for 127.The winners of this year’s competition will receive the Errol Miller trophy.Special prizes will be presented to the player who scores the most runs and the player who takes the most wickets in the final.
If he doesn’t break the 19-second barrier this year or in 2017, that will be one reason to continue. If that barrier is breached by next season, it’s my guess that Bolt’s retirement would probably come as originally contemplated at the end of the 2017 season. There would hardly be any reason to run another step. The only target left would be the 400 metres. No one has ever won global titles at 100, 200, and 400 metres. If he sticks around past 2017, even with his well-known disinterest in the longest of sprints, Bolt could be the one. • Hubert Lawrence has been amazed by Bolt since 2002. It can only mean one thing. If Usain Bolt is contemplating an extension of his career beyond the 2017 World Championships, then his coach, Glen Mills, must have again set new acceptable targets for the tall man. Mills has done it before, and the sport of athletics is breathing a slow sigh of relief because he is doing it again. Had Bolt retired after his sport-altering 2008 and 2009 seasons, he would already have been the king of sprinters. It’s a no-brainer. The world-record doubles at the Beijing Olympics and the Berlin World Championships were, and still are, the stuff of legend. Mills had the tall man focused and led him on consistency. He came back to show how human he was with the infamous 100-metre false start at the 2011 Worlds and how brilliant he was with the rip-snorting Olympic double title defence in London almost four years ago. When he retained his Olympic crown in the 100m, he did it in 9.63 seconds. That’s inferior only to his world record of 9.58. Had he retired then, he would still be the best sprinter of all time. After all, no one had done the Olympic sprint double twice. Had he retired then, he’d have missed the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, where he reigned supreme. In 2015, his absence would have left Justin Gatlin as World 100-metre champion. Bolt will be 34 when the 2020 Olympics roll around. Glen Mills, however, has seen something in the athlete he has coached for more than a decade. Perhaps if and when Bolt loses the snap required to rule the 100m, they will concentrate on the 200 metres. AIMING FOR A RECORD