An England Under-19 international who'd scored at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico, before most proudly, featuring three times for Liverpool in the Europa League, including once at Anfield. While there is no lack of talented players in the division, it is not unfair to say that those credentials are not quite the norm in the BetVictor Northern Premier North West. At 25, though, Adam Morgan has no intention of ambling aimlessly while harking back to his football beginnings.
A summer signing for Dave Wild’s Mossley, the striker set up Nicky Platt’s equaliser and Ryan Brooke’s winner in last night’s 2-1 win over Runcorn Linnets in their first home league game of the new season. Helping the goals rain down for the Lilywhites this season is a priority for the former Curzon Ashton man, while he has also set his sights already on a post-playing future.
All that goes very briefly on the back-burner, however, as he lines up a go here at the regular ‘Players’ Bar’ Q&A...
Favourite team and player growing up
Liverpool and Robbie Fowler.
Favourite game(s) you’ve played in and why? The Curzon Ashton FA Cup game (Adam scored a hat-trick in December 2016's second-round tie with AFC Wimbledon) and your Liverpool debut?
Yeah, I’d say so. Liverpool debut and then home debut at Anfield. Then probably the Curzon Ashton one.
A teammate/coach who taught you something new, made you see the game in a different way, or gave great advice you've always remembered
I’d say I’ve got a lot of people to thank for how I grew up. In the game, I’ve got a lot of good friends who are always there for advice if I need anything. I’ve had many managers who I’ve got along with. John Flanagan, big influence on my career when he was manager at Curzon; he made me start loving football again. Then I’ve got friends playing in the Premier League; (Wolves captain) Conor Coady, (Rangers defender) Jon Flanagan in Scotland, Jack Robinson at Nottingham Forest. They’re probably the biggest influences, apart from my parents.
What was it about John Flanagan that was what you needed at that time at Curzon?
He just put an arm around me, let me play my football, let me do what I knew I could do, without any pressure on me. He took all the pressure off me and said ‘go and do what you do.’
Funniest teammate/coach/manager in your career (or give more than one example)
There’s been some funny people, let me tell you. I’d probably say Jon Flanagan, who’s at Rangers. Matty Brown, who’s at Halifax. Craig Roddan, who’s signing for Mossley as well. I feel bad on the people I’m leaving out. I’ve played with some mad characters over the years.
Who’s the life and soul of the dressing room at Mossley, have you got a feel for it yet?
Yeah, all the lads. Ryan Brooke, he’s probably one of the funniest I’ve ever played with and he was at Curzon with me, but there’s a good few lively characters in the dressing room. Everyone seems to be having a laugh and a joke together, the banter’s always flying in training and before games. I wouldn’t like to pick one until I get to know them a bit more, but as I say, there seems to be a lot of good characters in there.
You got in the scoring groove in pre-season (including one from the halfway line against Ashton United), how are you feeling as we speak now?
I’m just looking forward to a game of footy, to be honest. When three points matter it’s a lot more serious. I just wanna rip up the league really, I wanna just show everyone what I can do. Obviously I wanna play in a good team and be on a winning side. I know I can score goals, I’ve always said it but I haven’t maybe always shown it. I believe that I can have a good season, but it is what it is really now. I wanna play, I wanna do my best, and whatever happens, happens.
What has (manager) Dave (Wild) been like to work with so far?
Dave’s been fantastic. He’s a young, up-and-coming manager, and it was actually nothing to do with (coach) John Flanagan, going to Mossley; I went solely because of Dave. I met him in the summer and I laid all my cards on the table with my work commitments, my girlfriend’s commitments and stuff like that. I remained speaking to him and I just got a great vibe from him. He’s been fantastic with me and all the lads love him. I’m really looking forward to working with him more, but I’ve got no doubt about it that he’ll be a top manager at a higher level in a few years.
In terms of games you’re looking forward to in particular this season, which ones stand out?
The ones that are closest to my house so I don’t have to drive too far! Widnes is five minutes from my house, Runcorn isn’t far away, Marine, that’s not too far, so probably them.
A player you’ve played with whose ability alone deserved/deserves to be at a higher level
Well he’s getting back to it now, but the best player I’ve ever seen at a young age is Ravel Morrison. He could be at Barcelona if he wanted to be, he’s that good. There’s a lad who I played with in Ireland (at Sligo Rovers), David Cawley; he’s a centre-midfielder and he’s one of the best players I’ve seen as well. He was unbelievable. He was at Ipswich as a young boy.
What would you say has been the happiest spell in your time in football so far?
I’m not gonna lie, there hasn’t been many; I’ve had a lot more lows than I’ve had highs. The obvious one is Liverpool, being around the first team and being on pre-season tour, but probably besides that I’d say when I was at Curzon the first time. That’s when it all came back to me, where I realised what I loved about football and that I still had the ability to play football, so that was when I was really happy.
What is a typical week like for you now, in terms of routine?
Work, go to the gym after work, try and keep myself fit through the week. I try and live the right way, even if I’m working. It’s hard sometimes to balance work and football, and your family as well, so I try and make the best of it. I try and make myself ready for training on Tuesday and Thursday, and get ready for the game on Saturday. I do chauffeur work at the minute; I’m working for my dad, but this is just a stop gap really. I’m looking into becoming a football agent, because I wanna help the next generation. I believe I’ve got a lot of experience to give and I still wanna stay involved in football. I’m not the type of person to be sitting in an office 9 to 5. If I have to I will, but I want to be involved in football because I believe I’ve got so much to give.
In terms of other interests, is there room for much else outside football, work, family?
Just the usual like anyone really. My girlfriend lives in London, so I’m down there every opportunity I get, or she’s up here. I enjoy doing that, I’ve got a lot of friends down there, so that’s where I’ll probably move to in the next couple of years. Hopefully with work I’ll be able to do that as well. I play golf, play snooker. I like to stay active. I wanna be successful in my job now when I do move over to the agent side of things, as well as doing well in football, because I believe that Dave (Wild) will go to a higher level, and hopefully I can help him this season. I’m still only 25, I still haven’t given up on my dream. I’m a lot more realistic about the dream. I was always not working before because of football, but I’ve come to the stage now where my family comes first. My girlfriend and that have got to take priority over football.
Is there any change you think could be made to the game at this level? Anything the players talk about and think could be tweaked to improve things?
I think non-league’s great. I like the rough experience and I like the little scuffles on the sideline! The only thing I could probably think of is because 95 percent of the lads have got another job, I’d say a little bit of a Christmas break, where you can switch off for a couple of weeks and go away with your family or whatever.
Any myths/misconceptions, or a rumour you’ve heard about yourself in your career that wasn’t true?
Yeah, absolutely; not just in football, in life. Rumours happen, things circulate. Football’s a game where you can be the best player in the world one day and the worst the next day. I’ve read things about myself and I think ‘that hasn’t happened.’ There’s also mistakes I have made along the way, because I wouldn’t be in this position if I hadn’t made mistakes. Rumours happen, as long as you know and the people you’re employed by know what the truth is and they trust you, and you’re giving a good performance on the pitch, it doesn’t matter about rumours. I’ve grown up a lot now, so there wouldn’t be a rumour in a bad way that’d be true about me any more. I like to work hard, I like to play football, and I just wanna be as straight up as they come now really. I’ve got nothing to hide, everything you needed to know about me is probably on the Internet anyway. I know that sounds terrible but I’ve been in a high position, so my on and off-the-field things are all well documented. Some my fault, some not so much my fault, but like I said, it’s life.
One singer/band/song you’d sneak on to the team playlist? Assuming that you don’t run it already…
Not yet but I will run it soon! I’ll be honest, the music’s alright, the music’s been good. I’d have to go for Oasis, probably. Oasis, Coldplay, but I like all the old ones, like Rod Stewart, all that. I don’t mind the house tunes before a game, but if I was listening to my iPod in my ear, I’d be having Oasis and Rod Stewart to get me up before a game.
What have you been impressed by at Mossley so far, and why should people come down and support, if they haven’t already?
I know every player’ll say this but I believe we’ve got a real strong, strong squad this year. From what I’ve seen, like we played Ashton the other day, the league above, and we absolutely dominated for 70 minutes, and we had players missing as well. We’ve got great staff. It’s not a professional club, but they’re trying their best to run it as professional as possible. I think all the lads wanna buy into it and all the lads wanna be successful; that’s the vibe I’ve got so far. Any level you play at, if you go on a winning run, and you’re up there in the league, it’s enjoyable. So that’s what I’ve found; they’re trying to do things the right way.
Finally, what has this time in football taught you the most and has it changed you at all?
100 percent. Football’s taught me everything I need to know in life. On the pitch it’s been unbelievable, off the pitch it’s been unbelievable. On the pitch it’s been terrible, off the pitch it’s been terrible. It’s just taught me how to deal with things mentally. No matter how low you get there’s always a way out, there’s always people to help. You’ve got to always work hard, and as I’ve grown up, I know what I want to do in life now. I was a lost little boy for a little while. I’ve still got the ability, but now I’m a lot more content with my life and I know about myself inside out now. I know what not to do, I know what to do, to make myself happy and get the best out of myself. If I didn’t have football I wouldn’t be the man I am today. I believe that I’m a good person and I believe that I’m a good football player. Without football, I don’t know what I would have been doing.
Interview by @chris_brookes