From the AMEX to the Accies, the Heath to the Hawks; fluid full-back Hamish Morrison has been a red blur along the right-hand side of The Enclosed Ground as he zips with zeal up and down the channel.
Swiftly a stalwart of the side, 22-year-old Morrison is one of three to have played every game for Whitehawk this season with that imperative blend of defence and attack. And so, to kick things off, the obligatory opener: how have you found things thus far?
“Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed it! I knew with the players Shaun [Saunders] signed it would be a good squad; I knew some of the boys before so I knew it would be a good atmosphere in the changing room and I’ve loved it!”
Still unbeaten in the league deep into October, did you expect this squad to be in this position when you joined?
“I know with the squad we’ve got that we should be competing, challenging near the top end – I feel like we’ve been a bit unlucky, maybe should have got a few more points where the draws maybe should’ve been wins but we have been a bit unlucky but there were times, especially against Burgess Hill where we rode our luck a little bit as well but, all in all, I think it’s been a good start.”
You’ve travelled some miles already; would you be able to talk us through your career up to now?
“I was at Brighton between the ages of 8 and 18, and then I played for Hamilton [Academical] for just over a year in Scotland – I’ve got Scottish connections through my dad – my dad’s side is Scottish. And when I played for Scotland U17s I knew that some of the clubs up there were interested in me and when I got released from Brighton I went up to Scotland. It didn’t work out there and I wanted to come back home to be honest. I came back and Shaun got in touch and I signed for Haywards Heath and played there for a couple of years…and now I’m at Whitehawk!”
It clearly shows the competitive nature of the sport, are you still hoping to work your way back to that level of the game?
“I think realistically probably not but you know, never say never. It would still be a dream come true if you get to the professional level but realistically it’s quite hard. There are a lot of levels and when you’re part time in non-league you’re already behind because these boys that are full-time are training full-time and their fitness is a lot better but never say never and it will always be a dream!”
Even if it was a short spell at the top, you still managed to earn a first team appearance with The Seagulls. How was that?
Yeah! I played one game in the league cup; I’ve got the shirt with ‘Morrison 74’ hanging up in my room and it’s something I’ll show the grandkids when I’m older. When it’s been a few years you realise what you’ve done is quite good and you look back quite proud of yourself really.”
What would you say is your strongest asset to the Hawks?
“I like to get forward; I think my crossing could be better but I like to get forward, create chances but also when you’re a defender, defending is your first job and I feel we’ve got quite a solid defence at Whitehawk, and it’s one that you should be proud to be a part of.”
Any personal aspirations for the season, Hamish?
“To be honest I don’t have any personal aspirations. I always go out onto the pitch and try my best; I’d rather have a 5/10 performance from myself and win 2-0 then have a 10/10 and lose 3-2. So the most important thing is the team winning but if I play well, perfect!”
And finally…how far do you think this side can go this campaign?
“Yeah, we’ve played what, seven games so far? I know most of the teams because most of the players in this league you play every year, and I feel like we’ve probably got one of if not the strongest side so the aim is to be at least top three / top four, and then pushing to try and win the league.”
Still a growing footballer with an absorbing story to hand, Morrison may never reach the heights of the Brighton starting XI again but the memories will forever stretch into the ether. Etched into Albion history, Morrison settles over the Downs to begin a new life. And who knows, maybe there’s space for a red title-winning ‘Morrison 2’ shirt on his wall, too, in the not-so-distant future…