Alex Samuel arrived at Morton in an exciting transfer deadline day deal from English Premiership side Swansea City in September. When he arrived, many Morton fans will have had little or no knowledge of the 20 year-old Welshman but were excited by the reports they read of him. Samuel began his career at Aberystwyth Town before making the move to the Welsh giants in 2012.
He played a major role in the Swansea under-21 side which won the Professional Development League in England last season which included scoring important goals in both the semi-final and the final of the competition. The 20 year-old joined Morton on a loan deal until January in September and made his debut as a late substitute in the 4-2 victory against Livingston.
He first endeared himself to the Ton faithful in the League Cup shock victory against Premiership side Motherwell. Samuel’s two goals helped Morton to a 3-2 extra-time victory which led to the sacking of Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough. In that game, Samuel scored two excellent goals and gave the Morton support a glimpse of what he is capable of.
The Welsh striker also had a crucial role to play in the recent 2-1 victory against Dumbarton. With time running out and the two teams level on a goal apiece, Samuel chased down what looked like a lost cause, won possession and squared the ball for Denny Johnstone to slot home the winner and earn a crucial three points.
Probably the highlight of Samuel’s time at Morton came a couple of weeks ago in the Renfrewshire derby in Paisley. Despite Morton’s dominance for much of the second half, it looked as if an equaliser was going to evade the Ton until Samuel pounced on a rebound from a Denny Johnstone shot in the last minute to save a point.If the youngster had to win over any Morton fans, scoring against St Mirren in Paisley will have convinced most!
Although goals have been slightly hard to come by since joining three months ago, Samuel makes up for this with his work rate and other talents on the pitch. The first and most obvious question to ask was how the move to Morton came about. Samuel said, “It was nearing the end of the transfer window, it was deadline day, and it was only a few days before then that my under-21s manager rang me up and said Morton are interested in taking you on loan and I knew straight away that I wanted to come up here. “Before I knew it, on transfer deadline day, I had to show up here to make sure all the paperwork was in order.”
When asked if he knew a lot about the club before arriving, Alex said, “I knew of Morton but I didn’t know too much about them. I knew they were up in Scotland and that it would be a great opportunity.” Although it was clear he didn’t know a huge amount about the club he was coming to, Samuel is delighted with his decision and said, “I’m loving it! It’s great playing first team football and getting the experience. Obviously scoring goals against Motherwell and St Mirren was great. I love scoring goals and that’s what I want to keep doing. “It was really great to score against St Mirren, it’s always a sweet moment when you score against your rivals and I’m hoping there’s a lot more goals to come.”
On the derby game as a whole the young striker said, “It was a really competitive game. I was on the bench watching it and I was just desperate to come on and play in that atmosphere. The fans were fantastic and to get the goal for them was just amazing.” The Welshman has also been impressed with how the team have fared this campaign so far. He said, “I think the team have been doing awesome. We had a good run earlier in the season and now we’re up to five games unbeaten. “We’re up to fourth in the table which is brilliant. I don’t think many people expected Morton to be in that position so I think we’re doing really well.”
Having taken into account how well the team has done so far, Samuel, like all the players, is not getting carried away. He said, “I think obviously our objective is just to work hard and put a shift in every week and hopefully we’ll get as many points as we can and see where we end up. “It’s going to be a really tough few weeks with some really hard games coming up going into the Christmas break but all we can do is try our best, put everything into it and see what happens from there.”
On the rest of his time at Morton and his future in football, Samuel said, “I’d love to make a living out of playing football, I think that’s my whole objective. While I’m here for Morton my aim is just to score goals, do the best I can and get the experience I need. We can see where it goes from there.” So far Samuel’s goals have come in big games against Motherwell and St Mirren.
The Morton support will be hoping he can keep up this record and help the team to a victory against Hibs who currently sit second in the table and are harbouring hopes of beating Rangers to the Championship title.
This article originally appeared in the Morton v Hibernian programme – 5th December 2015