From Sengkang to the Premiership
Gary Lim
Sun, Dec 14, 2008
The New Paper

WHEN you tune in to the Liverpool-Hull City match tonight, don't be surprised to see a familiar face in the mix.

No, not your Steven Gerrard or Fernando Torres, mind you.

We're talking about Trevor Morgan, the former S-League coach who used to call Singapore home.

The 52-year-old former professional player is the current reserve team manager of Hull City, as well as part of the coaching staff for the first team - posts he took up since July.

In fact, Morgan and the Hull City manager Phil Brown go back a long way.

During their playing days, both were team-mates at Bolton Wanderers in 1988 and 1989.

Said Morgan: 'When Hull City were promoted to the Premiership at the end of last season, Phil informed me that there was a position available.

'I went for the interview and ended up getting the job.'

But not before a managerial career that took him to Sorrento in Australia as well as a couple of stints in Singapore, where he made an impact by transforming a modest Sengkang Marine into a resilient outfit.

In 2002, he led them to the Singapore Cup semi-finals, before quitting in a huff a year later, reportedly frustrated by a lack of funds to buy accomplished players.

He returned in 2006 to take over Sengkang Punggol - a merger between Sengkang Marine and Paya Lebar Punggol - only to return to Australia last year.

Now, back in England, he is living the dream of working with a Premiership club.

Sparkling start

S-League fans here will also no doubt be proud that a former S-League coach has contributed to Hull City's sparkling start to the Premiership campaign against the odds.

The newly-promoted club notched six wins in its first nine league games to momentarily occupy a top-four position in the league table, a run which saw it beat Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle away.

The run shocked many, since Hull were tipped right from the start to go straight back down to the Championship.

Said Morgan: 'The players are very fit, and there is a great team spirit.

'They work hard for one another as a team.'

He also singled out the brilliant Geovanni from Brazil as a key player.

The 28-year-old Brazilian, with six goals under his belt, at times single-handedly transformed defeats into victories for Hull City.

But he puts the success so far mainly down to Brown's humility and ability to relate to the players.

He said: 'As a manager, he is fantastic.

'He's an honest person, and the players enjoy playing for him.

'He picks the team, and the players simply perform according to plan.

'He knows he can rely on them to do the job.

'As a man, he hasn't changed at all, although everything around him has.

'He is still the same person I knew him from 20 years ago.'

The future at the club looks bright at the moment.

First, they need to ensure survival in the top flight.

Then, Hull City have to establish themselves as a top-tier outfit.

Said Morgan: 'We have a good fan base and a great pulling area to get spectators.

'Hopefully, we can go on to become a top-10, or even a top-six club.'

Pool will get Hull tonight

IT WOULD be foolhardy for Liverpool to expect an easy time against Hull City tonight.

The Reds need look no further than their opponents' results this season to remind themselves of the lurking danger.

Hull City's record against the Big Four clubs has surprised many.

In September, they defeated Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

A month later, they lost 3-0 to Chelsea, but in the following game against Manchester United, they gave the defending Premiership and European champions a massive scare at Old Trafford before going down 4-3.

On the upcoming Liverpool game, Hull City reserve team manager and coach, Trevor Morgan, said : 'When you play any of the Big Four clubs, it will be a bonus if you can get anything out of the game.

'Yes, we lost to Chelsea and Man United, but these are two of the toughest clubs to play against.

'We play every game the same way we always do.

'And we will do that again this week.'- GARY LIM


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