‘I want to show him what I can do’ - Young Lion Morris out to prove his worth to Hurst
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Teenage striker Ben Morris has his sights set on a breakthrough season for Ipswich Town after receiving a surprise call-up for the England Under-19 squad.
The 19-year-old is part of the Young Lions squad that are looking to defend their European U19 Championship crown in Finland, Paul Simpson’s men having started with a 3-2 victory against Turkey on Tuesday night.
It’s his first call-up at the level of international football having previously represented his country 12 times at U17 and U18 level.
In truth, he has benefitted from several clubs turning down requests for their players to be involved – something they are fully entitled to do when tournaments fall outside of a FIFA window.
And it’s an opportunity he is determined to make the most of having only recently made his full senior debut for the Blues under Bryan Klug’s caretaker management towards the back end of last season.
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“It was a bit of surprise,” admits Morris, who was an unused substitute in England’s opener. “I just suddenly got a message out of the blue saying I’d been selected and the next thing I was training with the squad at St George’s Park.
“To wear the England shirt is a massive honour and I’m really excited to be at this tournament – especially with all the recent excitement surrounding the World Cup. We’re here to win it again.”
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Colchester-born Morris, who lives in Colne Engaine and has been with Town since the age of eight, has been restricted to one start and three substitute appearances for the Blues’ first team thus far.
Joe Garner, Martyn Waghorn and Freddie Sears are the three senior strikers at the club as it stands, following David McGoldrick’s summer departure, with youngsters Ben Folami and Aaron Drinan alongside Morris on the fringes.
“To make my full debut against Nottingham Forest was a great achievement and now I am just looking to push on,” said Morris. “The young strikers are all pushing each other on and there’s great competition.
“The new manager (Paul Hurst) has said we’ve all got a clean slate and when I get back from Finland I want to show him what I can do.”
Having been a prolific striker at youth team level, Morris played more as a winger in the U23s last season.
“I feel like I can play both positions,” he said. “The one thing I’m really working on at the moment is my link-up play.”
New Town signing Trevoh Chalobah, on a season-long loan from Chelsea, is also part of the England squad having played his part in last summer’s triumph in Georgia.
Town midfield trio Andre Dozzell, Trsitan Nydam and Flynn Downes have all been capped at this age group over the last year, but have all been left out. Dozzell has only just returned from a long-term injury, while it’s understood Town blocked Downes’ call-up as Hurst wants to take a good look at him over pre-season.